Following media stories this week on how leading employers are implementing AWR, the REC has underlined the variety of ways that businesses can build flexibility into their workforce. Options such as the ‘Swedish Derogation’ model do not provide ‘get-out clauses’ but rather legitimate new supply methods. The key is to ensure that they are implemented through a partnership approach between employers and agencies.
Commenting on the reports, Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive, said:
“One of the effects of the new regulations is that some temporary workers are being employed on a permanent basis by employment agencies. This is good news for temps as they get more job security. At the same time, agencies can benefit from having committed workers on their books and employers continue to have access to a crucial flexible resource.
“Under this model, the recruitment agency essentially becomes the employer of the temporary workers and has to guarantee extra payments including paying the workers between assignments, as well as additional payments if the contract is terminated. The Swedish Derogation element was included within the regulations after extensive consultation and should not be seen as some sort of loophole. If properly implemented, it is a great way of protecting jobs and keeping the UK workforce flexible.”
Kevin Green concludes:
“It is important to bear in mind that new supply models will not be necessary in the vast majority of cases. In most sectors, temporary staff already earn the same and often more than direct recruits and a high proportion of assignments – around 50 per cent – are shorter than the 12 week threshold.
“The real issues with regards to Swedish Derogation models is whether they are commercially viable for agencies due to the additional risk and obligations they entail for agencies. The key to making any new supply models work is to ensure strong collaboration and on-going dialogue between employers and their recruitment partners.”