I can tell you what the effect of this will be:

Britain looks likely to lose its fight against the EU’s proposed new rights for temporary workers. Employers argue that the change, which would give Britain’s estimated 1.3 million agency workers the same pay and workplace conditions as permanent staff, puts 250,000 jobs at risk.

Ministers have run out of allies in frantic behind-the-scenes talks to block the legislation, after finding themselves on the wrong end of a piece of classic EU horse-trading. All but four of the 27 member states have swung behind the plans, enough to force Britain to go along under qualified-majority voting.

The rights, which are due to be decided by EU employment ministers tomorrow, would apply to workers hired through an agency or other third party and would take effect a maximum of six weeks after a worker has been hired.

No temp job will last longer than five weeks and four days. This is an advance in what manner?


12 thoughts on “Morons”

  1. Not a problem, once it’s all gone wrong, they will introduce new Reg’s saying that companies who take on temporary staff have to contribute x% of their pay to a special earmarked fund that will be used to pay their holiday and sick pay and so on. And then they’ll drop the limit from 6 to 2 weeks and so on. There’s no unintended consequence that can’t be fixed and made worse.

  2. Surely there are two issues here:
    1) should temps have the same protection against redundancy as normal staff?
    2) should temps be treated equally in other ways to normal staff doing the same job?

    For 1, obviously not, or they wouldn’t be temps. I can’t see the justification for 2, though. Either there shouldn’t be employment protection, SSP, statutory holiday, etc, at all, or everyone in employment deserves it.

    AIUI, the new rules specifically don’t prevent temps from being laid off when they’re not needed (if I’m wrong on that, then obviously I oppose the new rules totally). They just ensure that – if you’re seeking to bring someone in for the duration of a project – you have to give them the same total package as if you resourced the project with internal secondees of equal ability.

    Tim adds: I’m reasonably certain that 1) is true. Normal redundancy rules kick in after that 6 weeks.

  3. @ Tim – all the sources I’ve seen suggest that the AWD only covers working time, pay, discrimination and maternity rights. Only the last of these has any impact on point 1. But I’m open to a source that proves me wrong…

  4. “maternity rights”

    Ok John, so that just means that no woman of childbearing age will ever have a temp job lasting more than 5 weeks and 4 days.

    I’m sure you’re fine with that.

  5. “AntiCitizenOne,

    I do hope you never need a permanent job yourself.

    Like – really need it.”

    Dear French person. I do hope you never need a permanent job yourself. Like – really need it. Yes, yes, I know you like – really need one now, because YOU’RE FUCKING UNEMPLOYED right now because no employer wants to hire you because they can never fire you because you’re “protected” from that. Betcha feel good that you’ve got these “protections” in the unlikely event you should ever get a job.

    Yes, let’s bring that brilliant French model to the UK.

  6. Oh, and by the way: like AntiCitizenOne, I’ve vowed never to hire an employee ever again. Contractors all the way. Stick that in your socialist pipe and smoke the unintended consequences (while I and my contractors spend the 23% National Insurance we jointly saved).

  7. UK unemployment rate: 5%. France unemployment rate: 8%

    France higher? Yes. France so high that the trade-off between protection and hiring is clearly broken? Hardly…

  8. You mean France has a workforce of 60 million? Wow, that’s a good effort at getting the elderly back in the workforce, although I’m not so keen on the child labour aspect of things.

    If the legislation gets written such that if you hire a female temp for seven weeks and she takes maternity leave after six and a half weeks, you’re then obliged to pay her another 18 weeks’ maternity pay – yes, obviously I oppose that.

    At the moment, the legislation hasn’t been written so it’s entirely unclear how this will work…

  9. Tell that to the 3% – that’s 1.8 MILLION people – affected.

    You still haven’t answered why you – apparently – in favour of the staggeringly obvious downsides of giving maternity pay to temp workers, viz women – who take up proportionately much more temp and part time work (timmy – I’m sure you can provide some numbers) – will be at a MASSIVE disadvantage in the temp labour market.

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