The EU Directive on temporary agency work was transposed into Irish law on the 5th of December 2011. This means that with effect from the 5th of December 2011 about 35,000 temporary agency workers are entitled to equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions as if they had been directly recruited by the hirer in the same job. The Government’s Bill when published will confirm this and will define pay for the purpose of the legislation as follows –
- Basic pay
- Shift premium
- Piece rates
- Overtime premium
- Unsocial hours premium
- Sunday premiums, where a Sunday is worked and a premium is normally paid to a directly recruited employee.
The Bill will also provide for equal treatment of temporary agency workers who fall within the scope of the Directive in respect of the following –
- Working time
- Rest breaks
- Rest periods
- Public holidays
Temporary agency workers will also be given rights in relation to access to the collective facilities and amenities of a hirer (e.g. canteen, child care facilities and transport facilities) under the same terms as directly recruited employees. They are also to be informed about vacant posts.
Speaking today Liam Moloney, Solicitor in Naas who specialises in Employment Law said “the aim of this Directive is to ensure the protection of temporary agency workers and to improve the quality of temporary agency work by ensuring the principle of equal treatment is applied to temporary agency workers. The Directive requires a worker to be treated in respect of “basic working and employment condition” as if he/she had been recruited directly to the same job not that the worker be treated equally with all direct employees in the same or similar job. This Directive will provide far greater rights to equal treatment for temporary agency workers and is to be welcomed”.