Related posts:No related photos. The European Union has reached an impasse over the future of thecontroversial Agency Workers Directive, after a crucial meeting last weekfailed to reach an agreement. The various European nations are currently at loggerheads over thedirective, with Britain, Germany, Ireland and Denmark all looking forconcessions. The current draft of the directive would see employers forced to offertemporary workers the same employment conditions as permanent staff from dayone of employment. They would also be entitled to the same salary after asix-week qualification period. It is this qualification period that is causing the split. The Department ofTrade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for a return to the original position of aone-year qualification period, or anything above six weeks. Employers and the Government fear the directive would damage the UK labourmarket’s flexibility by making it less attractive to hire temps due to increasedred tape. The draft will probably now remain with the Council of Ministers, forfurther discussion, into the period when the Italian presidency of the EUstarts on 1 July. If a consensus still can’t be reached, it could become bogged down for aslong as a year before moving to the European Parliament for ratification,although this is thought unlikely. David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the EngineeringEmployers Federation (EEF), said employers would be pleased with the UK Government’srobust line, despite intense pressure from Europe to get a resolution. “The fact they didn’t reach agreement shows there is a big gap betweenwhat the different countries want. In theory, it could be with the Council ofMinisters for as long as it takes,” he said. However, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber accused the Government ofscuppering decent pay and basic rights for agency workers. By Ross Wigham Previous Article Next Article EU reaches stalemate over Agency Workers DirectiveOn 10 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.