In a recent survey of 319 businesses, the CBI said that it has found an overwhelming case to imply that the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) had caused a negative impact upon short-term contracts. In fact, data showed by the group said that 57% of businesses had reduced their temporary workers intake. However, recruitment companies are now hitting back, saying that the figures are greatly exaggerated.

Brought in towards the end of 2011, the AWR were put in place to offer temporary workers access to full employment rights if their contract extended to 12 weeks or beyond. These new regulations were worrying for some, who believed that it would result in many temporary workers having their contract lengths slashed so that employers could avoid providing full work rights. However, it is generally regarded that the introduction of AWR has had little effect.

Despite the CBI suggesting that there has been a huge reduction in temporary worker take-up, recruitment agencies have said that the figures are simply not true. Whilst the poll claimed that 8% of employers had completely stopped hiring short-term staff, recruitment expert Pete Taylor said that none of the 300 firms in his area had stopped using temporary staff because of AWR. Mr Taylor added that any reduction figures were “nowhere near” those mentioned in CBI’s survey. Elsewhere, Tom Hadley, the Director of Policy and Professional Services at the REC, said that the findings did not reflect statistics shown in the most recent Report on Jobs either.

For recruiters who have paid attention to the figures, it seems that the data may have been blown out of proportion. Certainly for now, the AWR continues to have little effect on the temporary workers’ industry.

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