According to the Jobs Outlook report issued by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), 83% of the 600 employers surveyed plan to hold steady or step up their temporary work force over the next quarter. This is in spite of the upcoming implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations set to kick in on 1 October.
The new regulations give the same basic working conditions to temporary workers that are enjoyed by regular employees if they remain in the position for more than 12 weeks. This has given rise to concerns that employers will reduce the amount of agency workers they staff.
The REC report showed that of the medium to large businesses surveyed one third said that they may terminate contracts of temporary staff prior to reaching the 12 week mark in an effort to get around the added expenses imposed by the new regulations. On a positive note, 86% of those surveyed said they intend to continue at current levels or expand their use of agency workers.
Also revealed in the report was a less positive picture for regular staff with fewer employers offering jobs to permanent workers. Employers who said they were looking to hire permanent staff for the upcoming quarter fell from 67% in August to just 53% in September.
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