Press Release

Committee Takes Debate on Rights of Agency Workers to Assembly Floor

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Reference: E&L 01/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly called on the Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry, to ensure the needs of workers are taken into account when implementing the EU Agency Worker Directive [1], and that costs to businesses are minimised. The motion had been put forward for debate by the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning.

Committee Chairperson, Basil McCrea MLA said: The Department came to the Committee on 1 June and asked that it support its plans for implementing the EU Agency Worker Directive.

“The EU has set out the minimum requirements that must be implemented, but the Committee is keen for the Department to consider whether there are any enhancements which should be included. We want to make sure that the rights of workers are fully taken into account, while being mindful of the cost to businesses.

“The Committee felt that a policy with such wide reaching implications needed to be debated by the Assembly.”


Notes to Editors:

[1] The main purpose of the Agency Worker Directive (AWD) is to ensure the appropriate protection of temporary agency workers through the application of the principle of equal treatment and to address unnecessary restrictions and prohibitions on the use of agency work. The AWD follows similar directives on fixed-term and part-time work (which were based on European social partner agreements). Under the Directive 'equal treatment' relates only to basic working and employment conditions of temporary agency workers (eg pay, working time). The Directive does not affect the employment status of temporary workers.

Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (PDF, 59KB)

Committee Membership:

Mr Basil McCrea MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Thomas Buchanan MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Jim Allister MLA
Mr Sammy Douglas MLA
Ms Michelle Gildernew MLA
Mr Chris Lyttle MLA
Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Mr David McIlveen MLA
Mrs. Sandra Overend MLA
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA

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