New EU Directive for Self Employed

Following the Agency Workers Regulations, further EU legislation is on the way that is aimed at giving  more rights to  self-employed workers and their ‘assisting spouses’- including the right to maternity leave for the first time – under new legislation endorsed by EU governments on June 7, 2010.  ‘Assisting spouses’ means those who  provide effective assistance in the business of the self-employed worker and do not have their own income from another professional activity or a substitute income that entitles them to full social security benefits.   According to Adrian Marlowe, Managing Director of Lawspeed, for the most part, the entitlement to leave, and some compensation for the pregnant self-employed worker, is already provided for in existing social security legislation. The proposed directive only expects the maternity leave rights to be extended to the self-employed and their assisting spouses for  14 weeks. Maternity leave currently only applies to employees not…

Fears exaggerated over possible union walk out on

Fears are exaggerated that if Business Secretary Vince Cable  changes the Agency Workers Regulations in a bid to simplify them for employers, infuriated unions would walk away from the 12-week deal and insist on equal rights from day one. This is the view of Adrian Marlowe, Chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) in response to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph where employers  warned  Cable that his proposed review of the Agency Workers Regulations, particularly the 12-week rule, might put a brake on the employment of temporary workers and thus put a big dent in the income of recruitment agencies. Under the current agreement between the CBI and TUC, temporary workers are due to get the same pay and working conditions as permanent staff after 12 weeks in a job, rather than on day one, as unions originally demanded. “Business leaders are being unnecessarily cautious” warns Marlowe.…

Agency Workers Regulations – what do hirers want?

Since the finalisation of the Agency Workers Regulations earlier this year there has been a flurry of activity to gear up for the new rules. However these regulations do not come into force until October 2011 and there is no legal reason why they cannot be modified, providing that they meet the requirements of the European Agency Workers Directive. There was always the prospect of a review of the regulations as an election was due. The Liberal Democrats promised to cut red tape and have expressed a strong “anti gold plating of EU Directives” message; David Cameron personally sought revocation of the Regulations in an early day motion laid before Parliament, and his pre election shadow minister for BIS promised a review if the industry wants it. The current Regulations gold plate the Directive in various different ways that potentially interfere with economic recovery, at a time when not everyone…

The ARC calls for coalition to cut back excessive legislation

The new coalition  Conservative/Liberal Democrat government should take the opportunity to cut back the excess of employment regulation created by the last Labour Government. That is the view of Adrian Marlowe, Chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies(ARC). He says: “Employers and recruitment agencies have been flooded with legislation and regulations  which have reportedly cost the UK economy  well over £170billion over the last decade. Much of this emanates from EU legislation and the new Government should focus on weeding out regulations that inhibit business from generating new jobs.” Marlowe argues that with inevitable cutbacks in the public sector, the Government will have to depend on the private sector to provide growth in employment opportunities. This can only be achieved by cutting back expenditure on unnecessary regulation. “Now that Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable has been given the role of overseeing banking and business, it is important that he pushes…

ARC to continue fight for fairer Agency Worker regulations

Urgent update on the Agency Workers Regulations The Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) has decided not to pursue action for a judicial review of certain parts of the Agency Workers Regulations. This is purely because of the tight three-month timescale prescribed by law. Although ARC received persuasive advice from Queen’s Counsel that the case for a judicial review was strong, and substantial support from its members and others within the industry, in the end it was deemed impractical to assemble the case by yesterday’s deadline. Adrian Marlowe, chair of ARC, said “Sadly time has defeated us. A judicial review would have kept the issue open and obliged an incoming government to consider the regulations. Strategically the timing has always been key because it expired before the election. After nearly two years of discussion and two consultations it is fair to say that the option of further talks had currently reached…

Urgent update on the Agency Workers Regulations

The Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) has obtained a written opinion from leading Counsel that some of the Agency Workers Regulations that implement the EU Agency Workers Directive and which were laid before the recently dissolved Parliament in January, are of questionable legality and should be challenged. These Regulations overall provide agency workers with the right to equal treatment with regular workers working for an end user, including equal treatment in relation to pay and leave after an agency worker has worked for a hirer for at least 12 weeks. However they include new provisions that create additional administration and risk for agencies that have no contract with the individual worker, in order to help agency workers. The ARC has been advised to launch a Judicial Review that will attempt to prove that the current additional provisions may have the opposite of its intended effect and may actually cause agency…

Common employment law issues with social media

Whilst new social media can be utilised effectively to improve your business, it can also create a lot of damage too. The TUC famously referred to Facebook’s many profiles as ‘3.5 million HR accidents waiting to happen’. You don’t want you company being dragged through the gutter following a slur on an employee’s Facebook page. Nor do you want your hard earned clients and candidates being taken when an employee leaves purely because they’re associated with an employee on LinkedIn. So what can you do to protect YOUR agency? In reality whilst the technology may have changed, the legal principles of employment law remain the same. Whilst your employees are working for you, you should have clear policies in place detailing what is and is not acceptable. A staff member who brings the company into disrepute or damages its reputation via a networking site, can be disciplined in the same…

Rolled up Holiday Pay

Is it legal to ‘roll up’ holiday pay for temporary workers? What is the best way to distribute holiday pay to temporary workers?  Many of our clients are confused on this issue, believing that paying holiday pay on a “rolled up” basis (that is, by including a holiday pay element in the workers hourly or daily rate) is illegal. Thus they have begun paying it  on an accrued basis (where the holiday pay is put aside and then paid to the worker when they are actually on leave).  But what is the correct position? In respect of rolled up holiday pay, the highest legal authority is a European case from 2006.  It was decided that while paying holiday pay on a rolled up basis was a technical breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998, so long as the worker had been told clearly, comprehensively and transparently, how holiday pay would…

The Budget – Some useful measures but lack of long term planning

There is nothing new in the Budget – that seems to be the general verdict of the media and political and economic commentators of Chancellor Alistair Darling’s latest offering. But is this assessment too glib? Certainly there are none of the headline grabbing moves that all pre-election Governments are tempted to take. But clearly a ‘spend spend spend’ budget would be seen as seriously irresponsible in the current financial climate – particularly with the Conseratives and Liberal Democrats keen to get across to the public that they would curb public spending big time if they should be elected in the next few weeks. From the recruitment industry’s point of view, there are two important aspects of the Budget which they must consider:. All the various incentives for SMEs that were announced for small business   Job creation incentives which might create a greater demand for temps and perms . To be…

ASDA deal not model solution

Commenting on recent reports about the deal struck between supermarket chain ASDA and the trade union Unite in advance of the Agency Workers Regulations that are due to come into force next year, the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) urges caution against adopting the model ahead of Regulation. ASDA has won kudos for its agreement to liaise with its suppliers, unions and temporary worker agencies to ensure the workers are paid the same as permanent staff and its competitors, and other businesses will now be under pressure to follow in its footsteps. However The British Chamber of Commerce has estimated the cost of the Agency Workers Directive to be £1.5 billion per year. By the Government’s own estimates, there are 1.3 million agency workers in Britain, about 5 per cent of the working population. That figure is likely to rise as companies start to come out of recession but do…