Flexible working and the economy

In a time of economic struggle where employers are risk adverse; a time of high unemployment and low confidence; there is real opportunity for recruitment companies. Temporary workers may present a solution during difficult times, and having more candidates to choose from may be beneficial to clients. That is of course, unless the traditional pros of using temporary workers become outweighed by the cons.

This is of course a reference to the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR).  As the number of hoops increase it is likely that less and less hirers will be willing to jump through them, and if this statement is true, it means that temps may not be as attractive a prospect they once were to employers. This raises the question: why have the powers that be decided to stick with the latest batch of cumbersome rules during one of the longest periods of slow economic growth in living memory, when we should be encouraging businesses to hire and expand?

On the other hand, the government appears to have accepted the idea that deregulation could spur growth within the spluttering UK economy, evidenced by the announcement of a review into the Conduct Regulations in the early part of 2012. The Conduct Regulations govern a wide area, from when and how to agree terms with a candidate, to restrictions on fees. Some feel that these regulations are too onerous on agencies and are disjointed, for example by requiring terms to be in place before work finding services are offered.

This is supported by announcements of a review of health and safety regulations and the Government’s ongoing red tape challenge, both of which could help to remove unnecessary bureaucracy. Recruiters may therefore look ahead to a potentially less regulated and more free-flowing experience of placing candidates with clients, but the dichotomy represented by the AWR continues.

AWOL employee on the Swedish Derogation
Self employment: solution to the AWR or potential minefield?