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Go-ahead for agency worker rights

Published: Tuesday, 20 May 2008   Category: Life after graduation

Plans to give increased employment rights to agency workers, including recent graduates, have been given the go-ahead after the government and trade unions reached an agreement this morning.

Agency workers will be entitled to the same pay as permanent employees after working in a role for 12 weeks, in a move which is likely to benefit graduates who seek temping work while awaiting employment scheme starting dates.

The announcement was made after the Confederation of British Industry and the Trade Union Congress came to an agreement with the government over how fairer treatment for agency workers can be promoted with minimal impact on employers.

Business secretary John Hutton said the plans balance the dual objectives of flexibility for employers and fairness for workers, claiming it to be "the right deal for Britain".

Agency workers who have worked in a role for 12 weeks will be entitled to the same basic working conditions as those directly recruited by the employer.

Labour MPs backed the scheme in February, with 147 members voting in favour of the Temporary and Agency Workers Bill and only 11 voting against.

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