Consultation on Measures to Protect Vulnerable Agency Workers

The private recruitment industry has grown significantly in recent years. Currently there are some 17,000 employment agencies and employment businesses in the UK with an estimated 1 million temporary and contract workers and the industry now plays an important role in providing flexibility in Britain's labour market.

We have created a strong and stable economy, enabling businesses to grow and take advantage of opportunities offered by the global economy. A cornerstone of this success has been our flexible labour market, which combines the flexibility that both workers and employers seek within the provision of key protections for workers.

Success at work highlighted that while the UK employment legislation was in place we need to consider the issue of certain workers who maybe more at risk of being denied their employment rights and are less able to protect themselves.

Our intention in this consultation is to address the bad practices highlighted in Success at Work that affect the most vulnerable agency workers, but without placing burdens on the majority of reputable agencies, who do not use these practices. Simultaneously we are seeking to reduce burdens on reputable agencies where we can do so without removing important protections for workers.

Consultation on measures to protect vulnerable agency workers