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UK – AWR has no effect, employers say

March 23 2012

Over three quarters of employers say that the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) has had no impact since its introduction in October 2011, a new survey by Adecco says. This is despite previous studies claiming that the AWR will have a dramatic impact on hiring practices of temporary workers.

But the survey found that only 16% of companies reported that the AWR has impacted their recruitment plans for the year.

The AWR ensures that all organisations hiring agency workers for assignments of 12 weeks or more will offer these workers the same terms and conditions relating to pay, working hours and holidays as those of permanent employees.

Businesses were concerned that the AWR could have a negative impact on hiring, but the research indicates that those fears are unfounded – for now.

“While many predicted businesses would drastically cut back their use of temporary workers as a result of AWR, our results have found that companies have in fact handled its introduction very well. The crucial thing is for businesses to make sure that they really understand the legislation and don't rush into any decisions which could lead to them struggling without essential workforce support,” said Steven Kirkpatrick, the Managing Director at Adecco.

The survey found that, of the 16% of companies that did feel the AWR had had some impact, over half are still in the process of assessing how they could reduce their reliance on agencies, and around a third felt that it was still too early to make any firm decisions on how to best manage hiring. About 17% of surveyed companies had taken action to cut back agency hiring.

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