TUC reports show agency workers are paid far less than permanent staff

According to a report by the TUC, agency workers are being paid an average of £135 a week less than permanent workers doing the same job. The discrepancy is a consequence of a loophole in the Agency Workers’ Directive that many, including those in government, are saying should be shut.

This loophole is allowing companies to hedge their bets and bring people in on temporary contracts that offer less money for the same job. In the current economic situation it’s pretty obvious why this would appeal to companies. These temporary workers have little option outside of the job they find themselves in, so firms have no concerns about training up staff that walk away after a short time. Hiring temps also keeps overheads low and saves money as the temp can be culled without need for a redundancy package. Another plus point for firms at the moment is that no matter what business sector they’re in, there will be plenty of good quality workers willing to temp indefinitely just to keep a roof over their heads.

Hiring lots of temporary workers is unsettling for the permanent staff as colleagues come and go regularly and it creates a lot of ill-feeling as a divide appears between the temporary workers and the salaried employees. Hopefully new regulations will be put in place to limit the advantages that temps provide firms at the moment so that these job roles can be put out as permanent positions.

According to the TUC report migrants are over-represented in the one million agency workers currently employed in the UK, especially in business sectors like logistics and call centres.

Ed Miliband has already said that he will work with businesses to end this practice so we hope to bring you a follow up story sometime soon.

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