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Most U.K. temps satisfied with agencies

December 18 2008

A survey of temporary workers in the United Kingdom found that 84% were satisfied with their temporary employment agencies and 68% were satisfied with their pay. The survey results appear in a report announced Wednesday by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the trade association for staffing firms in the U.K. The report was done with the support of the U.K.'s Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

The report's survey of temporary workers included 350 telephone interviews conducted in January and early February. The report also includes information from monthly surveys of staffing buyers.

Among the findings:
*63% of the workers took temporary work when they were unemployed
*As to what factored in a worker's choice of agency, workers ranked providing regular work at the top. It received a 4.72 on a scale of one to five. A strong brand reputation had the lowest score at 3.78.
* As to what could be improved at the temporary agencies, 32% of workers said nothing. The next highest ranked was better/more communications at 11%.

As for staffing buyers, 37% said they would stop using temporary workers from employment agencies if the cost of using such workers rose by 25%.

The report warned that implementing the European Union's agency worker directive, which calls for equal pay and working conditions for temporary workers compared with traditionally hired workers, could be a cause for concern. The directive was passed Oct. 22 by the European Parliament and EU member countries have three years to enact laws guaranteeing equality for temporary workers.

"If the proposed agency workers directive is to be enacted in U.K. law, this research suggests the timing needs to be considered carefully," the report said. "The directive may act to bolster already high levels of satisfaction among temporary agency workers, but it could add costs and/or reduce responsiveness to employers. Such a reaction may well decrease competitiveness and delay economic recovery."

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