The GSD has welcomed the reduction in the qualifying period in the Agency Workers Regulations from 52 weeks to 12 weeks. This will now mean that an agency worker will be entitled to the same terms and conditions (e.g. pay) as their permanent counterparts doing the same job after 12 weeks.
The GSD says it wishes to remind the public that it was the GSLP-Liberal Government that increased the qualifying period from 12 weeks to 52 weeks in 2013, thereby “condemning hundreds of youngsters to inferior terms during the last six years.”
Daniel Feetham said:
“This has been something that the GSD has consistently drawn attention to since the regulations were changed in 2013, with Government Ministers complaining that we had pursued this issue dozens of times in Parliament.
“Well, we make no apologies for that and it is a sad indictment of this Government’s socialist credentials that it should have opted to make it more difficult for workers to acquire their rights over the last six years and that its hand has only been forced by workers taking to the streets in a demonstration.
“The irony is that in the UK, where there are huge concerns about the increased use of casual labour, the equivalent regulations had a 12 week qualifying period. In other words, our workers had to wait over four times as long as their UK counterparts to acquire their rights.
“Now the Government has to ensure that in future the strategy of moving workers from one part of the public service to another (e.g. the GHA to the Care Agency) is not used to prevent workers from serving the 12 week qualifying period as has been the case in the last six years simply because technically the employer may change.”