From the TUC

Agency workers – know your rights: a refreshing phone box campaign

10 Feb 2009, by in Society & Welfare, Working Life

For months I have been irritated by the DWP benefit fraud campaign that features on the phone box outside my flat. The implication that the DWP spotlight is just waiting to expose me & my fellow local residents as benefit cheats living lives of luxury at the state’s expense is unfair – it makes everyone who lives around it feel targeted, as well as failing to recognise the desperate circumstances in which most people work cash in hand.

However in a refreshing new strategy BERR are providing a counterpoint – the phone boxes of South London are now also making it clear that working people deserve fair treatment from employment agencies and that unscrupulous employers should not expect to get away with illegal exploitation. Of course there’s far more that agency workers need than a new advertising campaign – the speedy introduction of new equal treatment rights and an overhaul of employment status legislation would do to start with – but in the interm hopefully a few more working people will be able to get some support from the state rather than being villified by it.

3 Responses to Agency workers – know your rights: a refreshing phone box campaign

  1. UK Poverty Post
    Feb 12th 2009, 12:04 pm

    Stirring statistics – misleading the public over foreign workers…

    Krisnah Poinasamy. The Times today leads with an article stating that the impartial Office of National Statistics has tried to embarrass Gordon Brown over his slogan, ‘British jobs for British workers’ by releasing figures for the employment of forei…

  2. Steven H
    Feb 12th 2009, 4:27 pm

    Quite right Nicola.

    Nice to see that even in the economic downturn BERR are still taking the abuse of agency workers seriously ;)

  3. Nicola Smith

    Feb 12th 2009, 5:58 pm

    Absolutely – although I think that the phrase ‘even’ during the downturn might be best avoided. Arguably it is more important that rights are enforced during recessions, as unscrupulous employers may be more likely to believe that they are justified in cutting short-term costs by mistreating their workers. But in reality the argument that employment rights cost businesses is unfounded – productivity increases where workers are treated well, and it’s only by making the best use of everyone’s talents – and improving our skills base – that we will be able to build sustainable growth for the future.