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Reports of temporary workers' exploitation are greatly exaggerated, says Recruitment and Employment confederation

Reports that temporary workers are systematically exploited and underpaid is 'wide off the mark', according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Yesterday research carried out by the TUC and YouGov showed 33% of agency workers and temps found permanent staff were better paid than them and 28% had lost out on overtime payments.

But the REC's chief executive Kevin Green [pictured], said: "The TUC survey is mostly based on perception rather than fact.

"Temporary work is by definition different to permanent employment and there are huge practical issues linked to establishing equal pay treatment in the UK - especially where there are no formal pay scales to refer to."

According to the REC, the EU Directive designed to give equal rights to temporary and agency workers could add 20% to the cost of the provision of agency workers.

Green added: "The last thing we need at the moment is to suffocate the UK's agency market and negate the crucial role temporary workers can play in the upturn. The Government must implement the EU Directive in a way that is workable and must be prepared to challenge the trade unions' outdated approach to flexible working options."