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The Swedish staffing association (Bemanningsföretagen) last week defended the use of temporary employment, responding to criticism by the country’s left-wing party which is demanding tighter regulations in the industry. But the debate is far from over.
The left-wing politician Josefin Brink, outspoken critic of temporary staffing, said temporary employment has a fundamental flaw, leading to increased insecurity in the labour market.
“It is a real problem that employers choose to dismiss their [permanent] employees and instead allow agency staff to do their jobs,” she argued in a newspaper column of Aftonbladet.
Last week the director of the staffing association, Henrik Bäckström, said that temporary work creates more jobs, often helping people to start out in the labour market.
Ms Brink said this argument was “dubious”. She argued that those jobs could be carried out by permanent employees. She said that temporary workers “kick out” direct hires instead.
“We want to fight unemployment and create a working environment that is characterised by influence [and] security. Then the permanent positions will become more frequent and not less frequent,” Ms Brink said.
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.