AWR latest – NI recruiters give their verdict
This week’s Policy Forum in Belfast provided the latest update on how the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) are impacting in Northern Ireland. The feedback underlined the significant cost and bureaucracy that agencies have had to absorb but also confirmed that the demand for flexible staffing had remained strong and was increasing in some sectors.
The AWR came into force in Northern Ireland on December 5 which means that the first 12 week threshold to qualify for equal treatment will be reached next Monday, February 27, depending on breaks in the assignment.
One of the main areas of concerns – in common with the rest of GB – is that many employers remain reluctant to co-operate and share the relevant information with their recruitment partners. Reinforcing the message that the AWR is not just an issue for agencies will be a priority over the coming weeks.
Picking up on the latest feedback from members, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy & Professional Services says:
“Employers are approaching the regulations in different ways with some working in full partnership with agencies and others adopting a more detached stance. Encouraging the collaborative approach is a core aim of our ongoing client campaign."
“One interesting theme was the increasing need for speed in the recruitment process. Employers are looking for agencies to supply suitably skilled staff at extremely short notice to fill shifts and meet spikes in demand. This acceleration in resourcing patterns makes flexible staffing arrangements more important than ever and is a positive sign that the agency market will continue to thrive post-AWR."
For more information on our Policy Forum or on taking an active role as an REC Regional Director, please email firstname.lastname@example.org