07 September 2011 #Employment
It has been reported that the Prime Minister has secretly commissioned his own legal advice on the upcoming Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). Mr Cameron is reported to be concerned about the impact the AWR could have on the fragile UK economy. He is thought to have sought advice on ways in which the AWR could be diluted.
The Regulations will give agency workers the same basic rights as permanent employees (such as pay, holiday and length of working time) after 12 weeks on the job. From day 1 of the assignment, agency staff will have the same rights of access to facilities and amenities as permanent staff, as well as the right to be provided with information about any relevant job vacancies.
The Regulations, which are due in force on 1 October, have been criticised by business and employer organisations as putting a strain on companies already facing significant economic pressures, with some claiming the additional costs of complying with the Regulations will lead to job cuts.
Analysis by the Department for Business suggests that the new laws will cost firms more than £1.8?billion a year. The typical small business will have to pay an extra £2,493 a year, increasing to £73,188 for large firms.
However, it is unlikely that much will happen to the Regulations at this late stage with the issue proving too tricky, both legally and politically, for Mr Cameron to take on. Watch this space for developments....