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Sweden – Misconceptions about staffing market real “worry”

27 August 2012

Employment agencies in Sweden are hitting back against an anti-temporary staffing agenda led by the country’s Left party after party leader Jonas Sjöstedt has repeatedly called for tighter restrictions of temporary employment which he has labelled as “insecure” and prone to facilitate “labour exploitation.”

Henrik Bäckström, director of the Swedish Staffing Association (Bemanningsforetagen), today wrote in a commentary to the newspaper Aftonbladet that such views of the Swedish temporary staffing industry fail to realise the good aspects of temporary employment.

“They ignore the fact that staffing agencies create jobs and help people on the labour market, often those who are young and foreign-born. Temporary staffing is a fast way to find good and secure jobs, even for those who do not have much experience and good contacts,” he argued.

A recent survey of the association showed that those in temporary employment find work within three weeks of first registering with an agency. He also said that this type of work offered a springboard to employment, particularly for those previously unemployed. “The lack of good, new jobs are a real problem, and temporary staffing is an important part of the solution,” he said.

But he also warned of widespread “misconceptions” of temporary staffing.  “We worry that trade unions and politicians continue to accept restrictions on temporary staffing,” Mr Bäckström said.

This comes after the EU Commission recently threatened Sweden with legal actions over its failure to enforce the European Agency Worker Directive (AWD), which the Government now plans to implement by January 2013.

Under Swedish law, temporary workers have to be employed by their staffing agency and current collective agreements widely cover the protection and equal treatment of temporary workers.

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