APPENDIX 3: AGENCY WORKERS: JOINT DECLARATION
BY THE GOVERNMENT, THE CBI AND THE TUC |
The CBI and TUC have reached agreement on how fairer
treatment for agency workers in the United Kingdom should be promoted,
while not removing the important flexibility that agency work
can offer both employers and workers:
Agreement has been reached on the following points.
(a) After 12 weeks in a given job there will be an
entitlement to equal treatment.
(b) Equal treatment will be defined to mean at least
the basic working and employment conditions that would apply to
the workers concerned if they had been recruited directly by that
undertaking to occupy the same job. It will not cover occupational
social security schemes.
(c) The Government will consult the social partners
regarding the implementation of the Directive more generally,
(i) mechanisms for resolving disputes regarding the
definition of equal treatment and compliance with the new rules
that avoid undue delays for workers and unnecessary administrative
burdens for business;
(ii) appropriate arrangements to enable the two sides
of industry and also public services to reach appropriate agreements
on the treatment of agency workers, while respecting the overall
protection of agency workers; and
(iii) appropriate anti-avoidance measures reflecting
Art 9 (2), in particular relating to the treatment of repeat contracts
for the same worker and the position of workers with permanent
contracts of employment with agencies who continue to be paid
between assignments; it is not intended that article 5 (2) will
be used to evade the aims of the Directive.
(d) The new arrangements will be reviewed at an appropriate
point in the light of experience.
The Government will now engage with its European
partners to seek agreement on the terms of the Agency Workers
Directive that will enable this agreement to be brought into legal
effect in the United Kingdom. The Government hopes that EU agreement
will be obtained in time for the necessary UK implementing legislation
to be introduced in the next parliamentary session.
20 May 2008