The move would place temporary workers on an equal footing with permanent staff. For temporary staff who have worked with the same firm for six continuous weeks, this would include pay, holidays, training and pensions.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) warns that businesses, particularly smaller outfits, will be less inclined to hire temporary staff, because it will be less cost-effective and mean wading through even more regulations.
Kate Curtis, director of recruitment company Chris Eastwood Automotive, said: “Family commitments, age, location and lifestyle considerations can make temporary employment the only option for some people who have skills and abilities that are in high demand in the motor trade.
“Flexibility in the labour market is one of the factors that make this country highly competitive. It is essential that businesses can continue to call on temporary help at busy times or to cover periods of absence.
“Employment laws already impose a burden on employers seeking to recruit permanent staff, but with the same protection afforded to temporary workers, the whole thing will likely grind to a halt.”
Agency Workers Directive (AWD) aims to ensure non-discrimination for temporary workers and establish a suitable framework for the use of temps in the EU. But, says Curtis: “The wide scope of these proposals is likely to impact on business across the board that will affect everyone in the long run.
“These ideas need to be fine-tuned to balance the needs of business with the rights of individuals.”