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Not all employers are against equal rights for temps

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A third of employers believe temporary workers should be given the same rights as permanent members of staff, according to a new study.

The CIPD and KPMG report reveals that 35% of employers believe agency workers should be given these rights within the first six months of employment. One fifth believes they should get them from day one.

The Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill, sponsored by Labour MP Andrew Miller, will be getting its second Parliamentary reading tomorrow (Friday 22). It aims to bring pay and conditions of temporary workers in line with permanent workers.

Business groups are clamouring to oppose it.

“Very few temporary workers qualify as vulnerable and even fewer are exploited,” said CBI deputy director-general John Cridland. “Around half choose temporary work over a permanent job, and many are well paid. All are protected by rights covering working time, paid holiday, minimum wage, discrimination and health and safety.”

Although unions are champions of the Bill, they say it does not go far enough.

“It’s a relatively modest measure. In most European countries it would be judged unexceptional, yet it has provoked howls of outrage from employers and employment agency lobbies,” says TUC general secretary Brendan Barber. “Other European governments are losing patience with the UK’s persistent opposition to progress.”