News and Events

EC Agency Workers Directive

  • Posted

According to this morning's lead article in the Financial Times, and to BBC Radio, the EC is drawing up a Directive to grant agency workers - including 'temps' - equal rights to pay and pensions as normal employees.

This will prevent employers offering less favourable terms to those whom they hire using employment agencies as an intermediary.

It was not clear from the news reports whether unfair dismissal rights will also be extended to agency workers (thus reversing decisions such as Montgomery v Johnson Underwood and Hewlett-Packard v O'Murphy). However, since the ECJ has already held unfair dismissal rights to be part of 'pay' for the purposes of Article 141 (Seymour-Smith), it seems entirely possible that the government will be compelled to extend unfair dismissal rights to agency workers using its powers under the Employment Relations Act 1999.

The draft Directive was, apparently, due to be published on 27th February. According to the FT, it has been delayed, probably until March.

To see the FT story, click here.