The Agency Workers Regulations have been in effect for almost six months now, and despite predications of 500,000 contracts being axed, the temporary work sector – including most contractors and freelancers – has been remarkably undamaged. The REC has been monitoring the impact of the legislation through its AWR Monitor service in conjunction with KPMG, and has reported that for the month of February the impact of the AWR remains minimal. The report states:
January’s REC/KPMG Report on Jobs – which tracks the number of placements made through agencies – showed a slight decrease in temp billings for the second month running. Despite this slight contraction, the latest data shows an improvement on December and confirms that employers are still making considerable use of flexible working arrangements.While still short of the 1.6m peak, temporary working remains at historic levels.
Pleasingly, the REC have also found that contractor rates have increased slightly in the last month, although those in the financial sector and catering are still seeing low demand:
The latest Report on Jobs also shows a slight increase in the rates of pay for temporary and contract staff. The possible impact of the AWR on pay rates is something that the REC will continue to track over the coming months. There continues to be strong demand for temporary/contact staff in engineering, IT & computing, secretarial/clerical as well as in the healthcare sector. Demand remained lower in financial services and hotel & catering.