Agency workers - know your rights
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Issued 10 February 2009
The Government has launched a new £1million campaign today to help agency
workers know their rights and help employers know their responsibilities.
A poster campaign will feature in public places, online and in local press,
encouraging workers to be aware of their rights. Business Minister Pat McFadden
will write to over 13,000 employment agencies to outline how they can make sure
they are complying with the law.
This will complement the work of the Employment Agency Standards
inspectorate, which recently doubled in size and extended its investigative
Minister for Employment Relations Pat McFadden said:
"Employment agencies need to make sure they play by the rules and don't
short-change their staff. An economic downturn should not be an excuse to deny
people their rights to work.
"This campaign will help agency workers know their rights and help employers
know their responsibilities".
Katja Hall, Director of Employment Policy at the CBI said:
"We welcome this positive campaign to bolster the awareness of employment
rights among both agencies and workers. Increasing people's knowledge is an
important first step in ensuring that workers access the rights to which they
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
"Of course most agencies act within the law, but some agency workers miss out
on the most basic employment rights, and are among the most vulnerable in the
whole workforce. This is why we welcome the government's plans to make sure
agency workers know their rights and to ensure more effective enforcement of
Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation
"The vast majority of agencies are working very hard to keep people in work
in a very challenging environment. Agency workers deserve to have their rights
respected and we welcome BERR's campaign to root out rogue agencies and
employers who do not play by the rules."
Simon Garbett, Chairman of The Employment Agents Movement said:
"TEAM totally applauds BERR and its campaign to raise awareness of workers
rights. Whilst the campaign is primarily aimed at employment agencies it
obviously should encompass all workers of any agency or employer.
"Enforcing minimum standards such as Health & Safety, minimum wages, holiday
pay and ensuring workers pay is not reduced by illegal or unfair deductions is
Information on agency worker's rights can be accessed via DirectGov, and any
workers who think they are not getting a fair deal should contact the Employment
Agency Standards inspectorate on 0845 955 5105. Business Link contains further
information on how recruiters can ensure compliance with the law.
1. The 'Know Your Rights' campaign launches on 9 February, with over
£1million being used to ensure that agency workers know their rights. It was set
up following the recommendations from the Vulnerable Workers Enforcement Forum.
The forum brings together front line unions, workplace enforcement agencies,
business groups and advice bodies to look at evidence about the nature and
extent of abuse of workplace rights.
2. Business Minister Pat McFadden has written to around 13,000 employment
agencies across the UK.
3. DirectGov is the Government's public services portal. For specific
information on agency workers, see
4. The Employment Agency Standards inspectorate is part of the Department for
Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The Inspectorate carries out
inspections of agencies on the basis of perceived risk of non-compliance and
investigates complaints about agency conduct.
5. Business Link is a free business advice and support service, available
online and through local advisers. For specific information for employment
agencies, please see
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-02-10 11:31:27 in Employee Articles