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LEGAL UPDATE-Pay commission proposed for agency workers

In reference to Gibbons review of workplace dispute resolution (including repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures does the package of replacement measures implemented actively  encourage early/informal resolution? Pay commission proposed for agency workers 

In a move designed to try and subdue a backbench protest, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, has offered to set up an independent commission to consider the rights of agency and temporary workers. The commission would bring together the TUC and CBI in a one-off inquiry to see how such workers could be given pay and conditions comparable to permanent workers.

The commission would seek to arbitrate on all the contested issues surrounding agency workers, including length of employment before any new rights would be enforceable. It would set out a process for identifying those full-time workers with whom an agency worker could compare wages and conditions. It would also examine how the impact of any voluntary agreement reached in the UK would work under subsequent EU directives governing agency employment. 

The move came as it also became clear that France is likely to revive a proposed EU directive providing equal treatment for agency workers after six days in employment. Progress on the Directive was blocked by the UK, but France takes over the presidency of the EU later this year.  

If the commission is formed, there may be a bumpy road ahead. According to reports in the Guardian, the CBI is suggesting that there should be a one-year period for temporary workers to qualify, but the TUC believes that would leave 900,000 agency workers outside the law.

It would appear, however, that many Labour MPs are not convinced about the proposal. After the Prime Minister’s announcement, a bill sponsored by Andrew Miller MP, giving rights to agency workers, received its second reading in Parliament and MPs voted by 147 to 11 – a margin of 136 in favour. As yet, no date has been set for the bill to go before the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons, which is the next stage.

In reference to Gibbons review of workplace dispute resolution (including repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures does the package of replacement measures implemented actively  encourage early/informal resolution? In reference to Gibbons review of workplace dispute resolution (including repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures does the package of replacement measures implemented actively  encourage early/informal resolution? In reference to Gibbons review of workplace dispute resolution (including repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures does the package of replacement measures implemented actively  encourage early/informal resolution?

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