BOROUGH MP Andrew Miller is promoting a Private Members’ Bill to secure equal treatment for agency workers.
The Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill aims to ensure that more than 1.4m agency workers in the UK are entitled to the same terms and conditions as their directly-employed colleagues.
Unions and the majority of Labour MPs regard such a measure as vital in stemming the growing casualisation experienced by workers in all sectors of the labour market.
Unions are increasingly reporting that agency workers are employed on poorer terms and conditions than permanent employees and that the widespread use of agency working is leading to job insecurity among both temporary and permanent workers.
Mr Miller’s announcement comes on the eve of a vital meeting in the EU to determine whether there is any possibility of a directive on equal treatment finding agreement among the 25 nations of the union.
However in the expectation that there will continue to be delays in solving the problem, Mr Miller has decided to press ahead with his Bill, which will have parliamentary time for a full debate.
Mr Miller is inviting the Government to work with him to ensure that the widely-supported proposals progress into law.
He said: “Equal treatment for all is one of the values the Labour movement holds dear and our Prime Minister can rightly be proud of his record on advancing equality.
“So we cannot turn away from what is a mounting concern for our communities – the legalised discrimination of a significant number of workers in this country.
“My Bill presents Parliament with an opportunity to do something about this and all those who believe in progressive politics will work to ensure it succeeds.”
It is hoped the second reading will be in February.