Agency Workers Directive

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A draft EU directive (COM/2002/0149) that aims to establish a common legal framework at a European level to regulate temporary agency work. The content has proved controversial, with strong opposition coming from employers' organizations in the UK. The draft Directive would apply to workers supplied by an agency to perform temporary work under the supervision and direction of another undertaking (the client of the agency). It aims to ensure protection of temporary agency workers by requiring application of the principle of equal treatment. Temporary workers would receive at least as favourable treatment, in terms of basic working and employment conditions, as a comparable permanent worker in the same business, unless the difference in treatment is justified by objective reasons. One of the main stumbling blocks to agreement has been the question of how long the temporary worker must work for the client in order to qualify for equal treatment. In May 2008 the UK government announced that the CBI and TUC had reached an agreement that agency workers should have equal treatment with directly employed workers after 12 weeks' employment. See also agency workers.

Subjects: Law.

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