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Morgan calls for Agency Workers' legislation

19 November, 2007

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan TD has called on the Government to introduce legislation to provide equal treatment for agency workers. He also welcomed the launch of the SIPTU campaign aimed at improving agency workers’ rights. Morgan was speaking in advance of attending the SIPTU launch in Liberty Hall on Monday evening 19 November.

Deputy Morgan said:

“We have 520 employment agencies in a state with just over four million inhabitants. Compare this to Poland, where there are only 770 agencies representing 40 million workers and you will see that we have a disproportionate number of workers being employed in an atypical fashion, which is the cause of numerous problems.

“Recent research on British agency workers showed that, on the whole, they were paid only 68% of the directly employed workforce’s earnings; had less entitlements; are younger on average than the directly employed workforce and have less control over the work they do.

“We are one of only three states that have not legislated to provide equal treatment for agency workers and as a result there are a growing number of complaints of exploitation and abuse of these workers. We have to ask why we need such a large number of agencies and who is benefiting from them? I am calling on the Government to introduce immediately legislation that will protect the rights of workers to equal pay, pensions and other benefits awarded to those directly employed by companies.” ENDS

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