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07 May 2003
In November 2002 the European Parliament approved, at the first reading stage and subject to some amendments, the proposal for a directive regulating the working conditions of temporary agency workers. This gives temporary agency workers the right to be treated at least as favourably in respect of basic working and employment conditions - broadly, these are rights in relation to working time and pay, and rules on non-discrimination - as comparable workers in the business which they are placed. There are only limited exemptions from this requirement.
The relevant committee of the European Council reviewed the proposal in March.
However, it was unable to agree a revised text, primarily due to continuing
disagreement on the length of the qualifying period before the protection applies.
In the current draft there is an exemption from the requirement of equal treatment
in relation to pay for agency workers on assignments of a maximum period of
six weeks. Some EU member states have been seeking
extend this exemption.
The European Council will not complete its first reading of the proposal until
June. Assuming it does not accept the current text, the proposal will then return
to the European Parliament for a second reading. There is therefore some way
to go before the proposal is finally adopted. Member states will have two years
from its final adoption to implement its provisions.
For further information on this topic please contact Mark Mansell or Felicity Gemson at Allen & Overy by telephone (+44 20 7330 3000) or by fax (+44 20 7330 9999) or by email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
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