Recruitment agencies that have temporary workers on their books are unlikely to see decreasing demand for specialists due to the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) that were brought into effect at the end of 2011. The legislation means that employers using temporary workers for more than 12 weeks now have to offer full employment rights to staff; however, little effect on demand has been noted, despite many people being concerned that short-term workers would see fewer positions becoming available.

Talking of the latest statistics, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said that short-term worker demand was as good as ever, with 81% of questioned companies saying that they were expecting to use contractors over the next quarter. Leading up to the one year anniversary of the AWR implementation, the REC said that it would continue to monitor the situation, adding “Recent discussions … have focused on plans to evaluate the overall impact on employers and agencies – as well as on workers – at next October’s one-year anniversary of the regulations coming into force in the UK.” They added that an impact assessment report developed in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovations & Skills would be available in the coming weeks.

For recruitment agencies around the UK, the news that short-term worker demand is staying strong is good. Permanent positions continue to rise, but many employers are still cautious of taking on long-term staff liabilities in case of future economic dips. This means that short-term workers will be required for many months, offering recruiters an ideal variety of positions to place staff in.

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