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Portugal — Late payments and unwilling public sector concern temporary employment agencies

12 April 2010

Marcelino Pena Costa, President of the Association of Private Employment Agencies (APESPE), believes that late payment, bankruptcies and the weak dialogue with the public sector are the three major issues facing temporary employment agencies in the country.

Pena Costa told press agency LUSA that temporary employment agencies have to wait on average for 90 to 120 days to get paid by their clients. APESPE estimates that in the first three months of this year alone, 50 temporary staffing agencies have gone bankrupt because they are not able to meet payments and banks are reluctant to lend to them.

Pena Costa said "this has been a huge problem for small temporary employment agencies and it is never very healthy if a sector only consists of large players."

At a time when unemployment continues to rise each month, the fragile dialogue between temporary employment agencies and the public sector equally concerns the association.

Pena Costa believes that the public sector has attached a stigma to using temporary employment agencies. The Association President believes that the public sector is confused between the concepts of buying services and hiring temporary employees and "often decides to go for self-employed people as the cheaper option, which can be illegal."

Pena Costa concludes "it is absurd that this practise continues when there is a regulated industry (temporary employment agencies), which is there to provide such services."



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