Temporary agency worker numbers in retail industry hit a year high in August
Retail industry turns to temporary agency workers amid fears of double dip recession
New data from de Poel, a procurer of temporary agency labour, shows the use of temporary agency workers in the retail industry hit a year high in August.
Figures show that the number of hours worked by temporary agency workers in the sector increased by 27% compared to July.The data confirms that temporary agency labour is an ever more valuable asset to the retail sector, as they face uncertain times and the fear of a double dip recession.
The Government, therefore, needs to be cautious when reviewing proposed employment legislation that could impact on the supply of temporary agency workers such as the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR).
The findings compliment The Office of National Statistics (ONS) employment figures released in August which showed a decline in the employment rate in the UK. This trend is set to continue when updated ONS statistics are released on Wednesday 15th September, which are expected to show employment rates are still unsteady in the UK.
Matthew Sanders, CEO of de Poel commented "As business confidence declines, temporary agency workers are being relied upon more heavily to fill skills gaps in the workforce. Therefore it is imperative that the Government considers the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) carefully when reviewing it next month before it is due to come into force next year."
The (AWR) is one of the most contested pieces of employment legislation to date and will see temporary workers gain the same rights as permanent staff after 12 weeks in a position.
Matthew continues ""Temporary agency workers are the backbone of UK Plc offering a rapid solution to market fluctuations, often filling skills gaps at short notice, especially during times of economic unrest.
Although the AWR legislation does not come into force until October 2011, the Government needs to make a decision about the introduction of the regulations sooner, rather than later, so that organisations can begin to prepare for the changes now. Consideration from businesses also needs to be given as to how they are going to place temporary agency workers within their organisation in the future to ensure they can still maintain an efficient, cost effective, flexible workforce, without breaking the rules."
Matthew concluded "There are a number of changes to legislation coming through in the next few months that will seriously impact the temporary agency market including the cap on migrants and the AWR. We hope that the Government will look to support temporary agency workers throughout the next 12 months so that businesses will continue to use this valuable asset."
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