AWD draft regulations now out: REC responds
The Department for Business (BIS) has published its draft regulations outlining how the EU Agency Workers Directive will be implemented in the UK.
There will now be an eight week consultation on the draft regulations but one of the key outcomes is that the Government has already taken on board the REC’s argument that implementation of the Directive must be delayed until 2011.
Commenting on this morning’s publication of the regulations, Kevin Green, the REC's Chief Executive says:
“This is a significant milestone in what has been an intensive eight year campaign on behalf of the industry in Brussels and Whitehall. We are delighted that key concerns raised by the REC on behalf of members have been listened to and that a number of the recommendations put forward by our Agency Work Commission - in particular with regards to timing - have been taken on board.
“Rather than wasting time with politically and legally redundant demands, the REC will continue to adopt a pragmatic approach to making equal treatment work in the UK and to ensuring that agencies receive the support they need. It is essential that the Government continues to listen to those who will be making equal treatment measures work on the ground.”
Commenting on some of the specific content within the draft regulations and on the next steps, Tom Hadley, the REC's Director of External Relations says: “The Government has accepted that establishing equal treatment for temporary and contract workers is not as easy as it sounds and that there are a number of practical issues that need to be worked through.
"Our initial analysis of the draft regulations is that there are some real positives – particularly in terms of timing and the scope of what equal treatment covers. The next few months are an opportunity to influence the final outcome and we will continue to work with the full breadth of the REC membership on this.”
A detailed analysis of the draft Regulations will be made available to REC members over the coming days.
The key recommendations that REC has been taking forward are as follows:
- The definition of pay should not include wider benefits packages and company bonuses;
- A practical solution to establishing equal treatment is crucial, ‘comparators’ should not be the only means;
- Legitimately self-employed workers should be excluded from the scope of equal treatment;
- Temp to perm fees should not be affected by these Regulations;
- Where a worker has a significant break in assignment or moves to a different role within the same employer, the 12 week ‘clock’ should start again;
- Legitimate means of derogating from the principle of equal treatment must be maintained;
- The Directive should not be implemented until 2011.
The REC put forward practical recommendations on implementing equal treatment measures in the UK following the establishment of its Agency Work Commission which was made up of employers, recruiters, employment lawyers and representative bodies such as the CIPD.
The REC Employment Policy Committee has also played a pivotal role in driving the REC’s campaign.
Over 1000 REC members were directly involved in the initial consultation process on the UK implementation of the Regulations – in particular, through over 25 REC on the Road events, three high-profile ‘Agency Summits, REC Sector Group meetings and an online survey of members.
The REC is currently taking to the road to discuss the impact of the Agency Workers Directive with members as part of the Agency Summit 4.
Following the most recent in Manchester, these will be taking place at:
October 16th (tomorrow) – Leeds
October 28th – Edinburgh
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden will be speaking at the first-ever REC National Convention on November 26th.