Directive could hit driver jobs

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The EU’S planned Agency Workers Directive could cost drivers their jobs, according to Mike McIntyre, chair of REC Drivers, part of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation which represents some 8,000 companies in the UK’s private recruitment and staffing industry.

A consultation on the directive, which  provides for equal treatment between agency drivers and direct recruits after 12 weeks of an assignment, has just closed.
Mcintyre warned: “The government needs to consider the practical implications of how the directive can operate in an industry where agency drivers can work for many different clients in the same week. Otherwise we could see a reduction in the number of jobs.”

Key demands from the confederation include:

* The definition of pay should be restricted to basic hourly rate. Finding out different rates of holiday pay, bonuses and overtime rates for each individual assignment will be very onerous.

* Comparators should not be used to establish equal treatment in the first instance. Even people doing broadly similar jobs are, in many instances, on different rates of pay. Where permanent employees are on published pay scales this should be the first step to establishing equal treatment.

* Temp to perm fees do not act as a barrier to permanent employment and should not be tampered with in these Regulations.

* The availability of agency workers as a flexible labour resource will be key for businesses when we come out of the downturn. Given this, the Directive should not be implemented until the last possible moment in 2011.

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