Frances O’Grady: Agency workers don’t deserve second class treatment

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Frances O'Grady 2016 TUC

“Agency workers don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens” said Frances O’Grady today.

O’Grady spoke in response to today’s report into agency workers by the Resolution Foundation, which suggests that they are often underpaid and exploited. The report suggests that agency workers are on average £430 a year worse off than their directly employed counterparts.

The report also says that there could be more than a million agency workers by the end of the decade, if growth of the sector continues as it is at present.

The TUC are concerned by the loophole known as the Swedish derogation, which means it is legal to pay agency staff less than directly employed staff, as long as the agency agrees to pay them for up to four weeks if they cannot find them work.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: “Agency workers don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens. But they are often paid less than their permanent colleagues, even when they do exactly the same job.”

“As well as suffering a pay penalty, agency staff have fewer rights at work and are more vulnerable to exploitation.”

“We need the government to toughen the law to create a level playing field for agency workers. Too many employers are getting away with treating them unfairly.”

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