“Agency Workers not paid equally” says TUC
According to the trade union umbrella body, the TUC, European rules on equal pay for agency workers have not been implemented correctly by the UK government.
The European legislation states that agency workers who have been with a company for more than 12 weeks should be entitled to receive the same remuneration as a permanent employee of that company.
An article on the BBC website states that the TUC is complaining to the European Commission on the grounds that UK agency workers are still being paid less.
The complaint about agency workers’ pay follows on from the recent zero-hours contracts dispute.
The TUC claims that the Temporary Agency Workers Directive was not implemented correctly and as a result there have been a big rise in these types of contracts particularly in areas of low-paid, low-skilled work.
The European Commission has been asked to investigate the problem and the TUC is pushing for these temporary agency contracts to be banned.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented “the recent Agency Worker Regulations have improved working conditions for many agency workers without causing job losses. However, the regulations are being undermined by a growing number of employers who are putting staff on contracts that deny them equal pay. Most people would be appalled if the person working next to them was being paid more for doing the same job and yet agency workers on these contracts can still be treated unfairly.”
The exemption for agency workers is known as “the Swedish Derogation” as these contracts originated in Sweden. However, workers still receive equal remuneration once they are in post and 90% of normal pay between assignments.