A new report from the CBI warns that European legislation granting temporary staff equal rights to permanent staff after six weeks could destroy Britain’s flexible labour market.
Nearly half the companies surveyed said they would offer fewer temporary work assignments if the Government adopts the EU temporary work directive and six out of ten said it would impose extra costs. These would make temporary workers less affordable, the CBI said, removing a flexibility for employers and denying a crucial route into work to the unemployed, ex-offenders or working mothers.
The CBI argues that temporary staff should have to work for an employer for a year before gaining the same rights as permanent workers.
According to the survey, almost four out of ten employers also thought that if Britain lost its opt-out of the Working Time Directive it would damage flexibility and competitiveness and have ‘a serious impact on their business’. Only just over a quarter said it would have no impact.
John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said employees would suffer as a result of the loss of overtime "Overtime is the icing on the cake for the majority of our workers; they love it. And there's no exploitation of flexible workers."