The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 & How They Effect A Normal Worker
By martink0646 | Saturday, December 31, 2011, 14:27
The new regulations came into force on October 1st this year & they will effect Wisbech & from what I have experienced it will be a negative effect. I have been working for an agency from october this year at a local food production factory for a local branch of a nitonal agency.
I am working 2-3 days a week there to make some extra money as our business is in it's quietest time of the year. I originally worked there in 2008-9 after I had been made redundant from my job in 'The City' following the credit crunch. It's minimum wage work but the extra money comes in really useful.
The intention of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 in a nutshell is to provide equality between agency workers & permanent staff & to cut down on exploitation. The new regulations state that from the 1st October, after 12 weeks agency working at a company they have to take you on full time & provide equal pay & benefits.
The reality is that this change has just put hundreds of people out of work in the place I am working so the effect countrywide must be to thoushands of people. The factory where I work is staffed by 60% agency workers on day shift & probably 80-90% on nightshift. Some of those have been taken on full time but the majority myself included have been told that there is no more work.
The company, with the help of the agency has decided to circumvent the regulations. They have told everyone that there is no more work at the factory but there should be some more somewhere else in the new year. What they are going to do is swap the workforce out from another factory, this time in Fakenham for 12 weeks & then they will swap them back again.
What this means is that instead of a short 10 minute journey to work I will now have an hours drive each day, which on minimum wage means my day will be at least one hour longer & I will be effectively paid for two hours less!
I don't blame the company as they have no real alternative although I do blame the agency for being complicit in allowing this to happen. I really blame the government for yet again releasing a half assed, ill considered piece of regulation that instead of helping people is massively penalising them.
And when you look at the effect on Wisbech it becomes truly worrying. Our population is now made up of 40% immigrants & a high percentage of those will be agency workers. This disruption to pay & workplace will effect the local economy massively, it has to & I hope that it doesn't impact disastrously on local businesses.