Government urged to close loophole allowing exploitation of agency workers

Ministers have been urged to close a loophole which allows agency workers to be paid less than permanent members of staff.

Labour’s Stephanie Peacock (Barnsley East) said agency work had “boomed”, but that the workers were “some of the most exploited in our economy”.

Her Employment and Workers’ Rights Bill, which failed to progress due to time, seeks to ensure that “two people working in the same role in the same job for the same company should be entitled to the same fair and equal rights”.

Moving the Bill at second reading, Ms Peacock (pictured) said: “Agency workers are some of the most exploited in our economy and this employment practice is simply too one-sided in favour of those who hire them. My Bill takes steps to change that.”

She continued: “It will close the loophole that allows agency workers to be paid less than permanent members of staff undertaking the same role for the same company.

“After three months agency workers will be able to request a contract of employment and the hirer is under a duty to assess it.

“And after two years they would have the right to become a permanent employee.”

She asked for the Bill to return on November 23, but it is likely to be at the bottom of the list of scheduled business.

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