Thursday, November 21, 2019
Home Society Number of temporary agency workers soars 29% in just ten years

Number of temporary agency workers soars 29% in just ten years

A new report from Citizens Advice found the number of temporary agency workers has skyrocketed from 230,000 to 297,000.


The number of temporary agency workers in England and Wales has soared by a staggering 29% in the last decade, research by Citizens Advice reveals today.

There are currently around 800,000 agency workers in England and Wales, many of whom are self-employed and on temporary contracts.

A new report from Citizens Advice found the number of temporary agency workers has skyrocketed from 230,000 to 297,000 since 2006, highlighting the changing face of the Labour market.

While agency work can offer flexible employment opportunities to some people looking for work, others can find themselves being exploited in low-paid and insecure jobs and struggling to make ends-meet.

Most agency workers are entitled to an equal level of pay after 12 weeks in the job, as well as other employment rights including paid holidays and rest breaks, but Citizens Advice claims to have seen cases where many of these rights have been ignored.

An analysis of 1,500 agency workers helped by the charity in the last year, found cases where agency workers were paid less than their full-time counterparts, while others had been wrongly denied paid holidays and rest breaks.

Other examples include:

  • A worker who was docked £500 insurance costs for an accident that was not their fault
  • £320 was taken from a worker for property damage that was not explained
  • An agency deducted 12% of a worker’s salary without written consent
  • One agency worker had £900 withheld for absences despite the fact they had been at work
  • One person the charity helped was docked £35 of their wage for not attending a Christmas party

Citizens Advice is calling on the government to improve the enforcement of workers rights and encourage larger employers to publish data on the number of employees under different contract types, particularly those on zero hours contracts.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Making work pay is the bedrock of a functioning economy.

“The government has made major improvements around work in the UK. More people have jobs than ever before and the National Living Wage is a true social justice reform. But the next step on the journey must be to look at the problems around insecure jobs including agency work because some people are being treated unfairly.

“Making larger employers publish the types of contracts their staff are on would ensure transparency and put pressure on bosses to make sure flexibility is only used where it is truly required.

“Not only will it help employees get the rights they’re entitled to it would also level the playing field for those employers who are upholding people’s rights.”

The charity also recommends the creation of a single, well-resourced ‘Fair Work Authority’, who would serve to enforce employment rights and provide a place for workers to report problems.

Responsibility for enforcing employment rights is currently spread among a number of government agencies and public bodies (HMRC, Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, Health and Safety Executive, The Pensions Regulator, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and the National Crime Agency), who Citizens Advice say are underfunded. For example, the HMRC has 269 staff and a budget of only £13.2 million to enforce the ‘National Living Wage’.


Follow Us

16,675FansLike
9,396FollowersFollow

Trending Now

A homeless person dies every 19 hours in austerity Britain

Services are failing to protect homelessness people, say campaigners.

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

Benefit payment dates over Christmas and New Year 2019-20

You may receive benefit payments early over Christmas and New Year. Check here to see if this applies to you and your family.

Benefit claimants told to fork out £1400 to record disability assessments

Disabled people told to pay for expensive specialist equipment if they want benefit assessments to be recorded.

‘Pensionless Pensioner’ Brands UK Government Most Brutal ‘Regime’ In Living Memory

Woman stripped of her right to state pension says the UK Government doesn't care whether vulnerable people live or die.

More News

Labour declares ‘war on poverty’ and pledges to scrap Tory welfare reforms

Tory austerity has entrenched poverty and destitution across Britain, say Labour.

Disabled man found dead at Jobcentre within months of being declared ‘fit for work’ by the DWP

Campaigners have called for benefit assessments to be suspended after the man's sudden death.

800,000 more children from working households pushed into poverty since 2010

Labour says the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats "should hang their heads in shame".

Lib Dems pledge to scrap the benefit cap and ‘cruel’ two-child limit

Lib Dems pledge to invest £6bn a year to "strengthen the welfare system", despite endorsing many of the cuts that have weakened it.

Shock at 160% rise in child suicides in Scotland

Scottish Government admits that the rising suicide rate is "heartbreaking".

Follow Us

16,675FansLike
9,396FollowersFollow

More Articles Like This