Agency workers are a vital resource for many companies, helping to breach staffing and skills gaps when they occur and allowing businesses to save money by reducing the number of permanent staff they have hired. After the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) were introduced in 2011, however, Neil Carberry of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said that the government must ensure that employment opportunities in this market are not hindered by red tape.

Talking of Britain’s turbulent economy, Mr Carberry expressed that agency workers remained vital for economic recovery, allowing firms to save money whilst making positive gains in performance. Revealing that 57% of companies recently questioned had reduced their use of temporary workers since the AWR were introduced, Mr Carberry said: “Agency jobs are a crucial way into employment both for people looking for flexible work and for those seeking experience and a way into the workforce. The Regulations are thought to have cost businesses more than £1.5 billion in their first year, but temps have not reaped the rewards – instead, the vast majority of this cost has paid for paper-pushing to ensure compliance.”

Recruitment agencies often have a lot of agency workers on their books, enabling clients to access top skills and expertise whenever they need them. Though the AWR does seem to have affected some agency workers in a negative way, temporary workers will remain vital for the recovery of Britain’s economy and, as such, it is hoped that the government will do all it can to safeguard the market.

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