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UK – Agency market “to thrive post-AWR”

27 February 2012

After the Agency Work Directive (AWR) was implemented in October last year, the recruitment industry is said to have coped well with the “challenges” posed by the directive in the UK.

Philippa George, chair of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in Wales said in an interview that the industry had weathered many “end of the world scenarios over the last twenty years or so."

Speaking ahead of a forum meeting in the Welsh capital Cardiff regarding the impact of the new regulations, she said it was too early to say what implications the AWR will really have. However, she pointed out that things are looking good as “signs are that the agency market in Wales can continue to thrive post-AWR."

Before the AWR was implemented some experts argued that the directive could have a profoundly negative impact on the staffing market.

However, the REC published a report last month on the impact of the new regulations, saying that there had been only a slight decrease in temp billings which was most likely linked to the economy than to any impact of the AWR.

Since full equal treatment measures have kicked in over the Christmas period for temporary employees, the REC has so far not recorded any significant flurry of queries and requests for information from workers. However, recruiters have flagged concerns over the fact that some clients remain reluctant to share relevant information.

The main queries the REC receives have focused on holiday pay, calculating basic pay as an hourly rate and putting agency workers back on a contract for services from Regulation 10 contracts. Other common queries are around the status of limited company contractors, calculating the 12 weeks qualifying period and defining a ‘substantially different role’.

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