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Following the publication of a report by the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) last week, regarding the increased risk of injury for temporary agency workers, the Swedish Staffing Agencies, the federation for the staffing industry in Sweden, has published its response.
The Director of the Federation of Swedish Staffing Agencies, Henrik Bäckstrӧm, has already expressed his disappointment at the report, believing it to be more based on feeling that on hard evidence.
Mr Bäckstrӧm wrote, “Temporary recruitment agencies have welcomed and cooperated with the investigation conducted by the Swedish Work Environment Authority (SWEA). Workers are the most important asset of an agency and minimising workplace injuries is a top priority.”
Outlined below are the primary objections listed by Mr Bäckstrӧm;
- The government needs to give the SWEA a new mandate and additional funding in order to restructure its statistics to work for today’s job market. This needs to go beyond the employer to take into account the work place and industry where the work is carried out.
- The report is based on the flawed assumption that the injury rate can be assessed by SWEA. The SWEA cannot compare temporary agency workers with permanent employees doing comparable jobs, resulting in the SWEA producing far-reaching conclusions on the basis of anecdotal data.
- The SWEA had expected to uncover more instances of shortcomings and complaints. This fact proves that the working environment is better than expected.
- SWEA’s statistics do not reflect the modern labour market
- The Association Swedish Staffing Agencies’ members are actively engaged in working to prevent work place injuries. As a trade association, they work to educate their members, monitor and analyse injury statistics, and work in collaboration with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet) to develop new ways to manage work related injuries.
To read the full response from Henrik Bäckstrӧm, please click here. (Swedish only).