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Agency Workers Set to Top One Million

Resolution Foundation research says the number of agency workers is to reach one million by 2020 if the current growth in the area continues.

The Resolution Foundation describes agency workers as the 'forgotten faces' in debates focusing on low paid and insecure work.

The Foundation estimates agency workers receive around £430 less than their full time counterparts each month. 

Currently, around 865,000 people are employed in temporary agency roles. This has grown by 30% since 2011.

The publication of this research follows a recent Government pledge to review UK working practices.

The Resolution Foundation is a left wing think tank that campaigns for higher pay and better working conditions. 
Perhaps worryingly, this research says 85% of new temporary agency workers since 2011 are female. It's unclear why this is the case. 

The upcoming Government review into UK working practices will focus on areas highlighted in the Resolution Foundation's research.

Female temporary workers are believed to be more disadvantaged when compared to their female counterparts. Why? Because female temporary workers are not entitled to sick or parental leave pay. Female temporary workers are also thought to be more easily dismissed.

According to the research, around half of all agency workers believe their roles are permanent. Around three-quarters of those surveyed in the research say they work full time. The remainder work on a part time basis.

The research found that the highest proportion of temporary workers is found in the health and social work sector. This was followed by the manufacturing sector.

The research found ethnic minorities were three times more likely to working agency roles compared to white people.

Around 18%, or one in five of agency workers are London-based.

Around 60% of agency workers hold a UK passport. 

For the overall workforce, 80% of workers hold a UK passport.

Lindsay Judge, a senior policy analyst for The Resolution Foundation said: "While zero-hours contracts are often in the news, agency workers are the 'forgotten face' of the modern workforce, despite being just as prevalent across the labour market.

"This fast-growing group is not just made up of young people looking for temporary employment as some have suggested, but instead includes many older full-time, permanent workers.

"With the prospect of higher inflation squeezing living standards in the years ahead it is important that the discussion of the non-traditional parts of work in modern Britain consider the relatively lower pay that agency workers receive compared to identical employees in similar jobs."

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work regardless of the type of contract they are on.

"The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate regulates the sector and investigates every valid complaint made against an employment business."

Paul | Sat 21st Jan 2017

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Amanda Wright Rec to Rec - Recruitment Specialists for the Recruitment Industry, specialising in recruitment to recruitment. © 2018 Amandawright rec to rec recruitment consultants