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Tory Government would not enact Agency Workers Directive without further close scrutiny

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A Conservative Government would review the Agency Workers Directive, according to shadow business minister Jonathan Djanogly.

Djanogly announced that a Conservative Government would review the Agency Workers Directive (AWD) with "no compunctions" if he thought that the regulations would be unworkable or damaging to the UK economy.

Djanogly made the statement at an Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reception at the House of Commons.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, said: "It is great news to hear that a potential Conservative government is taking our concerns seriously and wants to give the AWD proper scrutiny before enacting it. We support Jonathan Djanogly's view that the consultation period needs to be extended and that the draft regulations should be revised if they are too damaging to UK plc.

"With the implementation of the regulations delayed until 2011 there is now a real prospect that whoever the next Government is could make significant amendments to the regulations before they even come into force."

Djanogly added that he believes the consultation period on the current draft of the AWD is too short and he will campaign for it to be extended beyond December as is currently planned. He said that in its current state it could cost the UK economy around £4 billion a year and tens of thousands of jobs and it should therefore be subject to much more detailed scrutiny in the Commons.

He went on to say that the Government and the CBI had made "a beer and sandwiches dirty deal" with the unions and had failed to consult the other major stakeholders, such as APSCo, in pushing the AWD through.

Djanogly added that there was a real risk that the UK would ‘gold-plate' the directive. That is, the Government would go much further than Brussels intended in implementing the directive into UK law.

The Government has already delayed the introduction of the AWD until October 2011 as a cost-cutting measure.