Employers get their act together ahead of Agency Workers Regulations

Employer awareness to act on the Agency Workers Regulation is increasing, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Awareness levels are currently at over 70%, the latest findings show - significantly higher than 18 months. But only 10% of employers are currently planning to make specific changes ahead of the October implementation date. A further 42% are currently weighing up their options.

The REC JobsOutlook survey also provides an update on overall usage of agency staff over the coming months. More than three quarters (77%) of employers are planning to maintain or increase their use of agency workers over the coming 12 months.

Only 1% were planning a significant decrease in their use of agency staff.

Gillian Econopouly, REC head of policy, said: "The fact that over 40% of employers are still considering their response to the regulations underlines how important it is for recruiters to be engaging with clients.

"For some employers, the AWR has been a catalyst for a more fundamental review of how they use flexible staff. In some cases, this may lead to a slight reduction in overall numbers. However, the latest data indicates that this will be counter-balanced by businesses who are planning to actually increase their use of agency staff over the next twelve months.

"Recent employer workshops have seen more businesses focusing on getting best value from the flexible workforce - rather than simply seeing it as a cost to be managed. There is also an employer brand issue at play when considering how to implement the regulations. These are positive messages that we will continue to amplify through our ongoing client campaign".