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Agency workers' and temps lack of employment rights makes them ripe for exploitation, says TUC

Agency and temporary workers 'urgently' need employment rights, says TUC report.

According to a TUC poll of 2,700 agency and temporary workers, 18% would like to see improvement in pay and working conditions, 18% want equal treatment with permanent staff with regard to pay, 17% would like the same holidays as permanent staff and 14% want better security in terms of an improved notice period.

The YouGov research showed 33% of respondents found permanent staff were better paid than them and 28% had lost out on overtime payments. Three quarters found temporary staff were entitled to less redundancy pay than directly employed staff and 70% believed they were entitled to less maternity pay.

Nearly half of the sample (43%) had less access to training.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "There is nothing wrong with agency work. There will always be some people looking for short-term jobs and employers who need short-term staff. What is wrong is when employers use agency staff to undermine pay and conditions and fill permanent jobs with staff who only have temporary rights.

"The survey shows that many employers are using the lack of employment rights and insecurity of agency workers to treat staff badly - to pay them less, to give them less holiday pay, to get out of paying them redundancy or maternity pay, and to neglect their training and development.

"This is why the TUC will be calling for the Government to introduce a fair deal for agency workers when implementing the Temporary Agency Worker Directive in the UK. Agency workers must have the right to equal treatment on pay, including basic pay, bonuses and redundancy pay, and to equal treatment on holidays and working time.

"The Government must treat the introduction of the new regulations as a priority, to ensure that agency workers are protected and that the exploitation of temps by rogue agencies ends as soon as possible."