Yesterday, as the final regulations for the Agency Workers Directive were laid before Parliament, there was confirmation that its implementation would be delayed until October next year. This move has been welcomed by agencies and contractors alike.

As reported in The Recruiter, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Kevin Green, said of this news: “Professional recruiters will bear the brunt of making these complex regulations work on the ground and we are pleased that some of the recruitment industry’s key concerns have been taken on board. In particular, we welcome the delayed implementation date and the decision not to impose potentially damaging restrictions on the fees charged by agencies where a temporary worker is taken on permanently by an employer.”

In conclusion, however, Mr Green added his concerns about the legislation: “However, there are real concerns that these EU regulations are ill-adapted to the UK labour market and could limit job opportunities at a time when flexible working options are providing a crucial route into employment. The priority now is to ensure that effective guidance is developed for employers and recruitment agencies.”

While the later implementation date is good news, there are still concerns and apprehension aplenty regarding this directive. Speaking for manufacturers’ organisation EEF, their head of employment policy David Yeandle confirmed their stance with The Recruiter, stating: “manufacturers will be pleased the government has confirmed that this legislation will come into force in October 2011 and that it has resisted pressure for its earlier implementation. However, we remain concerned about the costs and administrative burdens that this new legislation will impose on employers and, in particular, about how the decision to include some bonus payments in the definition of pay that will be used for equal treatment.”

Mr Yeandle concluded: “It will now be important for the government to publish clear and practical guidance for employers on these regulations well before their implementation in October 2011.”

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