back to article Small biz warns on contractor law

The British Chamber of Commerce has written to Lord Mandelson, asking him to delay changes to temporary workers' rights which they fear will cost the UK economy as much as £1.5bn a year. The Agency Workers Directive is EU legislation which seeks to improve rights for temporary staff. The law aims to give temps equivalent …


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  1. alan 39

    That will be...

    The consultation period is now closed and Mandy's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will consider exactly how to implement the changes into UK law.


  2. Chris Thomas Alpha

    Agencies can stfu!!!

    I used to be a temporary worker, in my area, it's impossible to get a job without going through an agency, almost 90% of everything you find, you have to go to some crap office somewhere and sign up, where are castrate yourself in order to get a crappy 5 quid per hour.

    The problem is that the agency charges the company about 2x this amount, I once found a company who are paying 14 quid an hour to employ me, but I was getting only 6 of that. So basically this agency was getting 8 quid an hour to do what? Nothing really, just "manage" and not even do that much "managing" cause they always seemed to get my wages wrong.

    Then when the government looks at this in order to improve my past situation for those unfortunate enough to require that kind of work now, they complain and moan about the extra cost.

    ok, you want to complete, here is your solution, stop ripping companies off and start diverting more money to your employees, then they wouldn't be on 5 pound an hour, would they? and wouldnt need special protection either.

    When you are on 5 pound an hour, you can forget saving money, you can forget getting a mortgage, pretty much everything, you just live in your crappy little flat, rented of course, with the measly amount you have left, try to enjoy yourself with your friends down the bar, it's the least you could do for those 12 hours shifts you have to do in order to make enough money to afford that crappy flat you live in.

    Either that, or you live with your parents, like I used to, what choice is there, you have no money, you're totally screwed and the agency have that lovely barrel for you to go and lie over, oh and if the agency think you are doing a bad job, you're out, no warning, just a "friendly" phone call, or even better, find the guy you are "training" is actually your replacement because they have "more exciting" opportunity for you, which is actually just the same shit as it was before, just a different colour.

    And these are the people who are probably complaining, I say let them all burn in flames, they sometimes have mercedez benz whilst you barely can afford the petrol to put in your 14 year old escort. Or if they are even more bare faced, will have a posh office, normally in awfully retarded colours that never match, green with purple??? EXCELLANT choice!!! They sit you down in an office built on stealing money by screwing everyone, smile, ask you to fill in the last 4 crap jobs you had and "why you were let go" (read: why did you get sacked from the last job) and then when they are satisfied you have sufficiently been anally raped enough. Will give you a crappy job cleaning some floor whilst all the other workers can look at you and laugh knowing you are just a sap, the smallest cog in the crappiest engine of the workforce.

    You will never escape.

    (Or so they thought about me, computers are wonderful things and I will never forget what they did for me and what I have accomplished now and anyone in my same position will get every ounce of help I can give to escape that lousy situation.)


    Job Agencies: burn in hell.

    Companies who use them: payback time.

  3. carbonrough
    Thumb Up

    @Chris Thomas Alpha

    Well said brother (c:



  4. Dangermouse

    @Chris Thomas Alpha

    You're not a yank are you? If you are then I fear for your co-workers - you are one blue screen of death away from rampaging through the office with a semi-automatic rife.


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Agencies can stfu

    So (and stop me here if I am losing the point) what is stopping you from forming your own company and presenting yourself to companies directly?

    I agree, it's criminal how much garnering is done to contractors wages when working through a "Legitimate Agency", but it's being done with your permission.

    Paris coz she knows how to compromise herself

  6. Sir Adam-All

    oh no

    £6 an hour ???????

    hardly worth bothering for

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "Such staff are often paid better than permanent employees in order to compensate them for reduced benefits in terms of holidays, sick pay and pensions."


    Contractors what post on here certainly wouldn't agree!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Agencies can stfu!!!

    An obvious troll, nobody would even consider getting out of bed for 5 quid an hour, not even 20+ years ago. My first and only permie job paid a touch over three times that in the early 80s.

    In case you are being serious, then maybe you should improve your negotiating skills instead of putting all your energy into whining after the fact.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agencies can rot

    I have used them for about 15 years... and in all that time I have found ONE decent one....

    To be honest, I think I was lucky to find them.

    Now back to looking for that needle


  10. imposter

    Chris Thomas Alpha

    Actually isn't far off really. They take a lot of money and rarely get anything right. They'll pay people £6 an hour and up these days. Though if you're lucky you'll clear 8. Of course there's no sick pay when someone on twice your wage (costing her company half much) sits down and breathes swine flu all over you. (Because you'd only be off a day or three with a mild bout of flu).

    I'd say the language is a bit strong really. It's not quite that grim, most of the saving is due to the gaps between working, because the same agencies control 90% of the perm jobs too. And they have nothing.

    It's great that your fate is decided by someone based on a test they made you do 3 years ago. Which doesn't cover a lot. And their own opinion of what you "want" in a job.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Agencies can stfu

    Having been an IT contractor for the past 14 years I don't want to have the same benefits as a permanent employee. If I did, then I would become a permanent employee.

    Most contractors already have their own company to trade through, although that is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to the IR35. The thing that stops you from presenting yourself to companies directly for work are the companies themselves. As was mentioned 90% of jobs are advertised through pimps (excuse me, 'agencies'), to approach companies directly would mean that I'd have spend a vast majority of my time phoning around searching for jobs. With the pimps that searching is done for you. I would prefer it if the companies requiring contractors advertised directly, but then they get hounded by the agency vultures making it difficult not to go through them.

    I get paid more because I don't get holiday pay, I don't get sick leave, I don't get paid for bank holidays and my pension comes from me. If I have the same benefits as an employee, it won't be long before I can only take 4 weeks holidays a year and can't claim a majority of my computing expenses.

  12. Dr. Mouse

    @Chris W

    "nobody would even consider getting out of bed for 5 quid an hour"

    Actually, I think you will find that many people do. In fact, many people have no choice. It works out as more than you get on the dole, and especially if you have a family to support, what choice is there? £200/wk is better than nothing, in the end. You will find that many honest, hard working people will accept whatever work they can just to give the best possible life to their family, even when they know it is barely worth the effort.

    Personally, I would have to be quite desperate to accept such a job, but I would do it rather than live on the dole for too long.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sign me up.

    @ CTA - I feel for you mate, been there, done that.

    @ AC 12.01

    "So (and stop me here if I am losing the point) what is stopping you from forming your own company and presenting yourself to companies directly?"

    The majority of clients won't touch you for various reasons - a) inability to backfill the post if you sod off b) less likely you are going to send some pretty little blonde over disguised as an account contact to giggle at the site contacts inane pishtalk c) no free drinks at Xmas

    @Chris W - Maybe the entry rates for helpdesk staff are holding up where you are, but at one large company in Glasgow I've seen people come in on rates that even the cleaners would think long and hard about - the problem is th shift leaders know what the agency is charging, but never think to ask what the poor sod on the phones is actually going home with. I know one lad who was able to claim a pretty hefty top up from the tax credit system for his family, once the umbrella company had done it's worst.

    Anon, because we apparently put people first...

  14. Kevin Johnston

    Re: Agencies can stfu!!!

    The problem is that almost all companies will only deal with 'recruitment agencies' as they believe it makes their job easier. All it actually saves them is the Cv search/interview stage and if they are truly temps (as opposed to contractors....a very big difference which the government stubbornly refuse to acknowledge) then they get given whatever the agency pick regardless of how well they suit. When you look at the margins most agencies run at you can see that it very quickly becomes viable to 'in-house' this sort of thing but good old inertia (and the odd 'thank you' present to senior staff) keeps the companies going back to the agencies.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Thomas Alpha

    Keep on in there mate. I was stuck in the same hell, but I eventually got out of it.

    All the power is with the employer as the agency want the customer to use their staff, so if the customer doesn't like the look of your face, you're out. What discrimination law?

    @Chris W - When, if you don't work for £5 an hour, you won't even have a bed to not-get-out-of, you've got no choice.

    Agency staff usually get crapped all over; even by the reputable, well known agencies. This change has been a long time comming.

  16. Trevor 10

    @Chris W

    I think you'll find he's not talking about contract work in IT, he's talking about contracting out admin and support roles in a business, like receptionists and cleaners.

    And that is relavent because although it will have an impact on IT based temporary works, the law is aimed sqaurely the lower positions in a company.

    Bear in mind that minimum wage in this country is currently £5.80 per hour, and because these staff are considered tempory, don't get holiday or sick pay let alone contributary pensions.

    prehaps you should take a look out of the ivory tower at the people supporting the businesses you work for once in a while.

  17. Chris Thomas Alpha

    Not a troll

    @dangermouse: I was being serious, but I see your joke, hehe, but it's all true, but in those days, it was all the rage. Start an agency, get a few companies onboard, screw everyone, some of them, don't even bother with a posh office.

    @anonymous coward: Agencies can stfu

    With my permission? or without any choice? The few jobs in my area (chester, north west area) that are available get snapped up with 20+ people applying for each one (like the factory I actually found a position at, but you are competing with 20+ people, is not easy). The rest of them, they are with the agency and the company is contracted exclusively for positions in that company, so they can't employ anyone they want, or they get "fined" in order to continue the contract with the agency.

    You say it was my choice, but you NEED a job, you can't just sit there and say, I choose to NOT have a job, you NEED it, you can't decide, it was decided for you, you probably think it's free will, but ok, I'll give you another choice to decide, I chop your head off with an axe, or I put a bullet in you. Which you prefer? Thats a free choice as well, isnt it?? Same thing.

    @Sir Adam-All:

    but 5 quid an hour was the norm, 5.50 if you are lucky, but I can tell you, 5 quid an hour, just imagine mate, how can you live on that? But it was the norm, I hope it's not the norm now.

    @Chris W:

    nope, serious, very, 5 quid an hour, I had others which paid more, but a lot of them, started on 5 quid an hour, nothing I said was a troll, it was all real, factual and I'm sure there are lots of people who have been there and done that, like you can see in the comments that surround you

  18. I didn't do IT.

    I agree w/ C. T. Alpha

    I started out working for an agency, _as a contractor for my own company_, because no one would take a "snot nosed kid" fresh out of school (not college) seriously. The agency did lend an air of legitimacy that allowed me to get my foot in the door, so to speak. Once I could enter bars myself to negotiate contracts, I didn't need them anymore and never looked back.

    To all the people that "can't be bothered" for minimum wage: not everyone started out in IT, and not everyone can afford to sit on their ass waiting for a company to take you seriously. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to keep a roof over your head and food on your family's table. I'll be damned if I am going to sit on my ass while my wife has to work two jobs to keep us in mac & cheese. Maybe its just the way I was raised.

    Starting your own business is not easy, even in the good ol' "land of opportunity" US of A*. No matter what suit you wear, how good you look, how good you talk, and how good you _are_, businesses do not always just put their little paws up and beg for your services. They will always try to squeeze and drain every last ounce of life from their current staff (or the staff's relatives, neighbors, etc) before actually paying you a dime.

    Oh, and that nice, beautiful presentation about how you can solve their problems? "Thank you, Mr. Contractor, sir. I will just take this and see what my staff can do to match it.... err... I mean _evaluate_ your solution. Ta!"

    Agencies rape because they never know when the next gravy train... erm... "placement" will happen. So, like every other business, they take all they can, when they can, for as long as they can. You just happen to be a "product" that they sell with the fashion. Once you are used up; out you go, easy peasy.

    * Yes, I know - in the the US it really is easier to start your own business. There are fewer issues and barriers to startup, and taxes are only 32% of gross (computer services) _when you actually make money_. Unlike what I understand in the UK, US gob'mint don't tax you for breathing as a services firm.

  19. Chris Thomas Alpha

    @IT Contractors - 12:33

    But you're a small part of the picture, I can understand that you're in a situation where it's beneficial for you, but considering the number of IT contractors pales by comparison to the number of agency workers in other areas, nobody will feel that sorry for you.

    When you have to get out of bed at 5am and work 12 hours on 5-6 quid an hour because your agency is stuffing you and you can't do a dammed thing about it, nor have enough time, or opportunity to find another job. You'll see the world in a different way.

    I'm happy that you never had, or don't longer have to deal with that world, but a lot of those people out there do, everyday and there is a hell of a lot more of them, than you. Think of those people as well, when you're sunning yourself in spain like I am, either on holiday or living there and your past schoolmates are breaking their balls to earn 200 euros a week, you might agree more with that pov.

  20. Graham Bartlett


    Tescos pay more than £5/hr. Mickey Ds pay more than £5/hr. If you're getting paid less than a Tescos shelf-stacker, you're letting yourself get screwed over.

    Oh yeah, and word up, guy. As a school leaver, you *are* the smallest cog, because you know FA about anything. Breeze into a well-paid job and get a mortgage? Not happening. You get paid according to what you've got to offer, and if you've got no skills or experience, you get paid to match.

    Me, I did four years of degree in electronic engineering (so a course with a career at the end of it), had summer jobs all the way to keep myself financed, got a good grade, and got straight into a job to get myself experience as quick as poss. It was still 3 years after that before we could afford a house, and that needed both my wife's wages and mine - we could have paid the mortgage on mine, but we'd have had literally nothing left for food, never mind a car or petrol for it, or a night at the pub. Hell, it was 6 months after I graduated before me and my wife could afford to move out of the shared house where we rented a room. A flat where we didn't have to share a bathroom and kitchen was like paradise. I wasn't pissing and whinging about that though, bcos I knew I didn't have the experience to make myself worth the extra money. But I *did* moan when my mates elsewhere in the company were getting paid more than I was for the same skills and doing the same job, bcos I wasn't prepare to be a doormat.

    Now I've got experience to trade on, I'm contracting. And on that score, I'm with the AC above. Yes, the hiring company pays my company twice what a permie gets. But from that I have to subtract company tax, accountant's fees (mandatory for running your own company), liability insurance (mandatory again), personal tax, NI, sick days, holidays, time between contracts (which can be a long time), pension, and any training I need. And the biggest thing there is the time between contracts - if you can keep that small then you're quids in, but if the economy goes to worms then you're stuffed. For 4 months over Xmas there were about a dozen contract roles going in my field in the whole of the UK, and several hundred people chasing each one, and I'd just had my contract terminated with two weeks notice. It sucked, but I wasn't pissing and whinging about it, because I knew that risk was *why* I was getting paid better when I was working.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ CTW et al

    There is a big difference between what you (and I) consider "Agency Staff" and "IT Contractors", however it appears that the government (and Brussels too) either cannot see that, do not want to see that or see it but don't care.

    First proper Perm job I had (early 90s) paid £6150 per annum for 37.5 hours alternate week shifts of 06:00-14:00 and 14:00 to 22:00 and we had agency people from Kalamazoo who did the same work but got paid significantly less.

    Now I am a Contractor earning contract rates which are definitely higher (in cash terms) than equivalent permies - with the extra going to cover the additional costs, risks, uncertainties, flexibilities* and skills*.

    I can clearly see why agency staff such as yourself would both want and need a change to give you some degree of parity as you clearly are not being financially compensated for the loss of holiday / sick / training / employment protections that permanent staff get. I think it is unreasonable that such situations are still able to exist in a society where we try to think we are progressive and at least some degree of socially conscious.

    Equally though I do _not_ want holiday / sick pay / training / employment protections as I am being paid to forgo them, and the only obvious alternatives are either to reduce rates or limit contract terms to 12 weeks - as a matter of interest it is unlikely that 12 week rolling contracts (or very short breaks between "separate" 12 week contracts) will be acceptable as a way to circumvent this law - we already see equivalents in the travel expenses rules.

    As hiring contractors for 12 weeks only would be seriously detrimental due to training / familiarisation lags the only thing that would change is that rates would drop. Which I certainly don't want. I assume most employers wouldn't want that either - however they probably more don't want having to give any benefits to agency staff either.

    * Yes I know some permie staff are as or more flexible/skilled than some or many contractors but when we are brought in it to roles it is often because we are more flexible & skilled than the footsoldiers.

  22. blackworx

    Bunch of arseholes

    "Such staff are often paid better than permanent employees in order to compensate them for reduced benefits in terms of holidays, sick pay and pensions."

    Doesn't wash. Rolled up holiday pay, where they tell you you're getting £x/hour but it later turns out that £x includes your leave entitlement pay, is illegal. What's more, the headline rate usually doesn't even match what the permies are getting, especially in the public sector.

    Basically the whole thing can be loosely translated as "whine whine moan moan we're used to shafting our temps, please let us continue shafting our temps, if you make us stop shafting our temps that means less money for us and/or our shareholders".

    Oh yeah, while I'm here - agency reps - BURN IN HELL YOU SELF-IMPORTANT DELUDED FAILURES. Just because you got a third from what used to be called Scumbag Polytechnic, have a propensity for going through cheap suits like there's no tomorrow, have a little stack of business cards with your name on, and can sniff out a public sector cash-cow contract like flies sniff out shit doesn't mean you're better than the people you're shafting - it just means you're a c*nt.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Trevor 10

    >like receptionists and cleaners.

    One of the summer jobs I had whilst at university was working for a contract cleaner, the sort that does the deep clean of banks, offices, etc on a weekend, I got 5 quid an hour for that. I've also been paid the same for working on a pig farm.

    In these comments there are two types of contributors, those that think the world is against them and whine about not being handed opportunities and those that have grabbed the world by its balls and made the best of what they had to work with. I look at it this way, optimists and pessimists can be defined exactly the same way, they are both people who get out of life what they expect from it.

    Oh, and if I do have an ivory tower to look out of I can assure you I built it off my own abilities.

  24. Chris Thomas Alpha

    @Graham Bartlett

    You think your life was hard, try being a school leaver with no real good qualifications and parents that can't support you, you need a job, so you find one, with the agency, because it's all you've got in front of you, you need it, and NOW.

    You take the job, you work 12 hours a day, it pays for your flat and little more than that, you want to show me a collage qualification I can take? The only option I have left to me is to find a job which trains and allows me to move up.

    Of course, I need to break away from the agency to do that, because otherwise I'll only see 50% of my payrise, the rest will goto them.

    The problem with your post, is that it sees itself as the way life is, whereas actually, reading your story, I can tell you that actually, you got by quite nicely, compare yourself to some of the people I know back from my home town and you'll soon realise how lucky you were.

    They are in a dead end part of the country, with nothing but agencies creaming the best whilst leaving you with nothing, working you 12 hours a day and with no expectations past that, you know, there is a limit to the numbver of course that you can stay awake before you need to goto bed and sometimes it's not possible to take another job, or study.

    You're fucked and there is little you can do but hope to be saved by something.

  25. Chris Thomas Alpha

    Temps are sometimes not temp

    Part of the problem is that sometimes temp workers are not temp at all, but permenant workers in disguise.

    why hire someone permenantly and have to pay them benefits, etc when you can just get a cheap sucker to work indefinitely for you whilst you can kick him out the door with 1 hour of notice.

    Sometimes permenant means temporary

  26. blackworx


    Q: Does the legislation affect limited company and sole trader freelance contractors?

    A: No. It covers only people who are temporary EMPLOYEES, usually of employment agencies.

    Q: Why then are the comment threads for these articles full of contractors having a pop at the legislation and whining about being "forced" to accept rights aimed at improving the lot of temporary employees?

  27. Chris Thomas Alpha

    @chris w

    There is an extra dimension that isnt accounted for here. Luck.

    Sometimes you can work like a pig and still be in the same shithole you started out in when you're 40, othertimes, like in my situation, you can find luck and hard work together help you.

    Example 1: Whilst I was in my crappy little hole, I knew a guy who was great at welding and wanted to get into the Navy, didnt make it, wasnt enough places and the next year, couldnt afford to study more and had to make do with what he had, he was 40, worn thin, worked hard like a motherfucker and was earning not that much more than me.

    Example 2: I started to program computers and for years did nothing with it, except more and more and more programming until I knew enough to be dangerous, then started to look professionally, found a girlfriend in spain who worked at my hellhole and tried my hardest to get out of it. I was lucky enough to find a company to try me out, after I moved country. I looked for a long time and got plenty of rejection before that day arrived.

    Sometimes luck is what really determines your destiny, hard work, is sometimes not enough

  28. OrientalHero

    Blinkered IT view...

    It's quite strange seeing all the comments about IT contractors. Does anyone have experience with NHS contracted nurses? Elevated pay and all that for the lack of perm perks, but the managers (whom I blame for the current NHS mess) seem to give them less work as they aren't as familiar as the perms!

    Can you imagine paying top dollar for an IT contractor and then expecting them to do less work than a perm?

    I know there are differences in the scenario such as the specialist role of IT contractors as well as the "human" relations aspect of nursing, but it really gets me riled up thinking about the NHS nursing contractors and now they wanna give em full benefits too!

    Hopefully, the expected drop in contractor salaries will put the "minimum work" attitude nurses off contracting!

  29. Nano nano


    Don't forget that if you are working away from home, B&B and petrol for the week can easily take up ~£5/hr of the rate ...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    From the definitions in the bill under discussion:


    “agency worker” means any person who is supplied by an employment

    business, or employment agency, to do work for another person (“the

    end user”) under a contract or other arrangements made between the

    employment business, or employment agency, and the end user


    In most Contracts I have had my contract is with the agency and they have a separate one with the end user - I expect (with my limited legalese knowledge) that this fits the definition of "agency worker"

    I also suspect, although I don't know for certain, that if you contract through a limited company then that company is classified as the agency making you an agency worker - the contract is between the end user and your company (not you, you and your Ltd. are distinct legal entities) and then it is surmised you have a separate contract with your Ltd co. - same if you go through an umbrella type company.

    The only group that would not be affected would be sole traders, however 99.9% of "contractor" type work would not be classified as self-employment which would leave the end client liable for employers NI, which is why they insist on Ltd companies.

    That, sir, is why we are concerned about this - the legislation appears to clearly catch all IT Contractors as well as what is understood to be "agency staff"

  31. blackworx


    Fair point.

    However -- you can't physically work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the most significant elements of the legislation can either effectively be disregarded in the majority of cases (redundancy - AFAIK not applicable for fixed term/job and finish contracts), legally replaced with cash in lieu (notice periods for rolling contracts), or are basically cash equivalent anyway (annual leave).

    Considering you're able either to negotiate your pay and terms, or have them favourably negotiated on your behalf by an agent who is a world away from the "reel 'em in and suck 'em dry" agents forced on those unfortunate enough to be at the bottom of the food chain, I think the distinction between those folk and people like yourself is in practice still very clear indeed, whether the law says so or not.

  32. Ponmyword

    Economics 101

    "contractors ... <snip> ... are often paid better than permanent employees in order to compensate them for reduced benefits in terms of holidays, sick pay and pensions."

    No - It is simply supply and demand that drives fees charged by contractors.

    Most people don't want the risks that come with being a contractor, so contractors are in relatively short supply and that drives fees up.

    At the moment, there are more contractors available than contracts available and that is driving down fees.

    This has been economics 101. Thank you.


    If anyone in the Labour party is reading this, please inform Gordon.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I agree with much of your second post - if you look back at my other posts you will find as much. However my post to you was in response to your post:

    By blackworx Posted Thursday 30th July 2009 14:37 GMT

    Q: Does the legislation affect limited company and sole trader freelance contractors?

    A: No. It covers only people who are temporary EMPLOYEES, usually of employment agencies.

    Q: Why then are the comment threads for these articles full of contractors having a pop at the legislation and whining about being "forced" to accept rights aimed at improving the lot of temporary employees?


    Which is completely different to your "rebuttal". We are "...whining about being "forced" to accept rights aimed at improving the lot of temporary employees" because we don't want it for us.

    We either do want it for agency staff or at the very least aren't bothered either way - but we want to be treated differently - based on teh fact that our situation is different.

    However, to take your response:

    "Considering you're able either to negotiate your pay and terms, or have them favourably negotiated on your behalf by an agent who is a world away from the "reel 'em in and suck 'em dry" agents forced on those unfortunate enough to be at the bottom of the food chain, I think the distinction between those folk and people like yourself is in practice still very clear indeed, whether the law says so or not."

    This is rubbish - the legislation would force end clients to give me things like holiday pay, sickness and most importantly restrictions on termination/treatment - things they don't want to give me and I don't want from them. It suits me that they can terminate my contract at any time for any (or no) reason - mainly because it suits them and gives more incentive to employ me and pay me - once the work is done I move on and everyone is happy.

    Look, I don't know what you are trying to achieve now, but your initial post looked like simply an exercise in proving you are smarter and better than us contractors because we are worrying about legislation that does not affect us. I showed you it does affect us and you suddenly mean that we can't work 24 hours a day 365 days a year and somehow we can negotiate out of legally enforced terms and conditions - T&Cs that if we can negotiate out of so could the agencies providing "those at the bottom of the food chain" - which they certainly would if they could. Which argument just makes you look like a spoiled kid who screwed up and is trying to make out that you really wanted to piss your pants and shit your bed and it is us that are stupid for not seeing that.

  34. Da Weezil


    It is far from the only or major user of temps. The legislation was framed to also protect the huge numbers of staff in semi-skilled or unskilled jobs. There are temps right across the spectrum of employment that earn barely above the minimum wage while agencies enjoy a return on the temps labour in excess of 100%.

    Nice to see some payback for this - its long overdue.

  35. Jess

    Simple answer

    This legislation should only apply to those paid less than twice the minimum wage (after agency fees) and three times the minimum wage on bank holidays and weekends.

    This would protect us from the negative effects of the legislation, while stopping rip offs for the lower paid.

  36. blackworx


    Seriously - WTF?

    Er yes, I do realise your initial rebuttal was in response to my second post, which was admittedly antagonistic, but - really - nice one on missing the point of my reply and degenerating into a piss-poor attempt at winding me up on that last try. And there was me thinking from the measured tone of your initial rebuttal that you were (unlike me) able to rise above such childish antagonism.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    I haven't got any homework mum

    I bet a lot of people are starting to realise that 'you need to work hard at school' is better advice than they thought it was at the time. 'Have you done your homework' --- 'I haven't got any homework!' Right, so now you have a crappy £5 per hour job and you're lucky to have it. Face the fact that it is at least partly your own fault!

    Now, are you going to allow it to happen to YOUR kids too?

    I don't want to hear about it being a crap school -- teachers hating you --- you didn't get the help --- blah blah. You got a free education in this country, if you didn't make the most of it, then more fool you. I don't see why I should make special arrangements for you now! It is NEVER TOO LATE to get the education you need to get a better job --- but only you can do it ! It takes work --- your choice!

  38. PT

    Excuse me>

    "... which they fear will cost the UK economy as much as £1.5bn a year."

    So the employers are part of the British economy and their workers are part of - what? Do they employ nothing but Poles and Romanians who wire their paychecks back to the mother country?

    I'm sick of reading this sort of one-sided crap. It's about time employers' groups woke up to the concept that the money they pay their staff is watering their own fucking garden, by putting money into circulation that strengthens the economy they're dependent on.

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