Contractor services provider Giant Group PLC has made its views regarding the Agency Workers Directive known. They believe that contractors should be excluded from the legislation depending on how much they earn and that the business model within which they work should be irrelevant.

The Agency Workers Directive is being introduced to protect vulnerable agency workers, awarding them equal rights to permanent employees once they have worked with a client for a twelve week period. Giant states that the main problem with this is that the most vulnerable agency workers will be forced into limited company structures by unscrupulous operators.

As it stands at present, Government proposals for the implementation of the EU Directive are set to include contractors who work through an umbrella company while excluding limited company contractors.

Giant has proposed that the scope of the AWD should be based upon wages, with workers earning less than three times the minimum wage protected under the Directive. This would mean the most vulnerable are protected while high earning contractors are free to work without AWD regulations affecting their work prospects.

Managing director of Giant Group, Matthew Brown, stated: “One of the main purposes of the Directive is to protect ‘vulnerable’ temporary workers. The most meaningful way to distinguish ‘vulnerable’ workers from other workers is by income. It is therefore illogical to include or exclude temporary workers from the Regulations on the basis of the corporate structure through which they operate without any reference to how much they earn.”

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