Brussels Threatens UK Jobs Nov02
Conservative MEP for the East of England, has condemned the controversial
Agency Workers Directive, which will introduce more unnecessary red tape
and huge costs threatening the jobs of thousands of temporary agency
workers in the UK.
The Directive, due to be
voted through the European Parliament next week, specifies that after a
six-week period, a temporary worker can claim comparability on pay and
benefits with an 'equivalent' employee doing the same or similar job
within the company.
Around 700,000 people are
working as temporary agency workers at any one time in the UK, which
represents half the entire figure for agency workers across the EU, and is
one of the major reasons why the UK has the most flexible economy in
Speaking from Brussels,
Mr Khanbhai said: "Behind the Agency Workers Directive is the
suspicion that temporary workers are an exploited group. In the UK, this
is generally not the case as most temporary workers choose this work
pattern to fit in with their home and lifestyle requirements.
arrangements offer a route back into work for those who have been out of
the workforce through sickness and pregnancy and for others, it is a
bridge to permanent employment, allowing new entrants and low skilled
workers to gain experience whilst they are earning.
"The East of
England, in particular, has many food processing firms, horticultural
suppliers and farmers where the work is largely seasonal. These employers
rely on temporary workers to cope with their busy periods and would be
seriously affected by this new law.
"The impact for the
UK could be devastating. SMEs are likely to reduce their use of temporary
workers, putting around 170,000 jobs at risk. Some companies will be
forced to increase consumer prices on goods and services and reduce the
pay and benefits of existing permanent staff in order to carry the costs