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Sweden – Government stops staffing industry from job growth

04 October 2012

The staffing industry in Sweden could create thousands of new jobs if legislation in the country is improved, the Swedish association of recruitment agencies said in a recent attack against the government which has halted the process of lifting restrictions on staffing companies. 

Henrik Bäckström, managing director of Sweden’s staffing agencies association, this week criticised the government for standing in the way of job creation.

This comes after politicians recently rejected a law to ease restrictions on the staffing industry as part of the implementation of the European Agency Worker (AWR) Directive. The Swedish government has discussed the introduction of the Directive, but the draft bill does so far not include rules to review restriction on the use of temporary workers.

This has angered agencies and Mr Bäckström does not understand the resistance against the staffing industry. He said it was a “myth” that temporary workers are threatening permanent employment, one of the main concerns brought forward by those opposing temporary employment.

“We worry that trade unions and politicians continue to accept restrictions on staffing,” he said in an open letter published by SVT, a Swedish broadcaster. This was contrary to the AWR which Sweden is already late in implementing. He said restrictions on the use of temporary workers can only be justified on the grounds of general interest and concerning the protection of workers.

If the government fails to see the merits staffing firms bring, this could have a detrimental impact on the labour market and job growth.

“The lack of good, new jobs are a real problem, and the staffing industry is an important part of the solution,” he argued. Many companies would not be able to keep up with their production levels if it was not for temporary workers, he said.

“Those who want to limit the staffing industry also limit job growth… Allow agencies to do what they are best at: create jobs where they are needed,” he said.

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