Sunday, 8 May 2011

Randstad’s UK-wide ‘Shifting Sands’ Seminars focus on Agency Workers Regulations

Randstad’s UK-wide ‘Shifting Sands’ Seminars focus on Agency Workers Regulations

Top employment law experts Randstad is hosting a series of seminars throughout the UK based on the findings of their latest published report ‘Shifting Sands’, which highlights the social, economic and government policy changes affecting the jobs market.

Keynote speakers will provide guidance on how to protect the organisational cost base whilst managing change in the evolving workplace and discussions will be led concerning the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), one of the most complicated legislative workplace changes to hit the UK, coming into force on 1 October 2011.

According to research by Randstad, the world’s second largest recruitment and HR services company, over a third of organisations (37 per cent) surveyed in Randstad’s ‘Shifting Sands’ report, admit that they are not familiar with the Regulations.

The AWR will ensure agency workers receive the right to the same basic working and employment conditions as those in the equivalent permanent job recruited directly by their host organisation. Some rights will apply from day one, such as the same access to facilities and job vacancies. Other rights, such as pay and some benefits, will apply after the agency worker has been in the same job for 12 weeks.

The impact of the AWR will vary across industries, according to their use of temporary workers, with sectors such as construction, education and healthcare likely to face some of the greatest challenges, but as agency workers make up about four per cent of the UK workforce, the highest proportion in Europe, Randstad estimates that at least half of them will be affected by the AWR.

Diane Martyn chief executive officer of Randstad Staffing, UK, says; “The Randstad seminars will take place throughout May, in major cities including Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, London and Bristol. They will provide an invaluable opportunity for organisations to learn how they can effectively maximise the implications and opportunities brought about by the AWR Regulations.”

She continues; “Whilst Randstad recognises the initial challenges that the AWR poses, we support the Regulations in their ambition to professionalise the use of agency workers and, in particular, give greater recognition to those that are paid on an hourly basis and often working unsocial hours, hence our commitment to ensure greater understanding of their implications.”

The Randstad Shifting Sands seminars will also highlight other key challenges on the HR agenda this year, including preparation for automatic enrollment in workplace pensions for all workers, temporary or permanent, in 2012; the transformation of the public sector, as a quarter of the workforce is engaged directly or indirectly in delivering public services; and appropriate recruitment and retention strategies in the light of skills shortages and demographic change.

Shifting Sands features in Randstad’s multi-million integrated national marketing campaign, which includes prime time advertisements on national television, full page colour advertisements in daily newspapers, and online advertisements.

The Shifting Sands Seminars will take place on the following dates at these locations. Booking information and the full Shifting Sands report is available at

The next available dates are:
Liverpool 10 May
Manchester 11 May
Leeds/Sheffield 12 May
Newcastle 17 May
Bristol 19 May

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