ARC exposes Agency Worker Directive

Government plans to implement the Agency
Workers Directive go far beyond the intention of the EU Parliament, warned ARC
(Association of Recruitment Consultancies) today (25 June).

At a seminar held by the association Adrian
Marlowe, Chair of ARC said: “In common with most others, we had thought that
the Directive requires the government to implement the legislation in the way
proposed. However, closer inspection shows the government has disregarded the
definitions and principles in the Directive that limit the scope of equal
treatment.

“The impression that the government is only
acting in accordance with the Directive is a myth. The Directive does not apply
to agency workers on assignment with the vast majority of average hirers, yet
the government would have us believe that it does, in order to justify a more
burdensome UK implementation that will apply to all assignments. Everyone seems
to have fallen for this hook, line and sinker.”

Jonathan Djanogly, Conservative Shadow
Minister for BIS (formerly BERR), criticised the way the Directive is being
implemented in his address to the seminar and echoed ARC’s concern that the
government is rushing through this piece of legislation unnecessarily.

He said” the cost of the directive is
immense and on the Government own figures it is estimated that the cost to both
the public and private sector will represent 0.6% of the total UK pay bill The
Directive will seriously undermine the flexibility of our labour market”.

Kieran Rossiter, CFO of international
recruitment firm Morgan McKinley Group, a keynote speaker at the seminar called
for the industry to support the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC),
in their campaign to limit the effect of the legislation. 

It was clear that delegates at the seminar
were unaware of the disparity between the government’s proposals and the
Directive. A recruitment consultant who attended both the REC summit and the
government’s own consultation event said “I had not heard this anywhere before
and this was not mentioned at either event. I was lead to believe that the
government was following the Directive. I now know they are taking it far
further and am left wondering why this was not disclosed by anyone. Surely we
all needed to know this crucial point?”