AWR anniversary: was the hype just scaremongering?

30 - 10 - 2013

This month marks the two year anniversary of the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). So, what impact have those three little letters had in the last two years and was all the hype just scaremongering?

There were fears that the regulations would create additional costs that would deter employers from using agency workers. However, the demand for temporary staff and contractors has been largely unaffected by AWR coming into force. In fact, the latest figures from the REC/KPMG Report on Jobs shows temporary billings rising at the steepest rate in over 15 years.
Looking ahead, the REC’s JobsOutlook indicates that an overwhelming 96 per cent of employers plan to increase or maintain their temporary staff levels over the coming year.

The lack of change in demand for temps is thought to be down to the proactive approach to implementation and client awareness demonstrated by recruiters.
The major impact of AWR has been cost. Recruiters have had to spend money on training, HR costs and putting tracking systems in place. They have also had to invest in activities to raise awareness of AWR among clients and workers. While most recruiters have estimated spending on AWR to have reached between 5k and 20k, larger recruiters have calculated the cost to go into six figure sums.
It was feared that tribunal activity would rise as a result of AWR but, as yet, this has not been the case. This is thought to be largely due to the awareness recruiters have raised about the regulations.
In conclusion, the recruitment industry’s pocket has been most affected by the introduction of AWR but the sector remains largely optimistic about the long-term advantages of the contracting.
According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the on-going benefits of temporary and contract work for business and for workers have generally outweighed initial concerns over how the regulations would play out.






Foremans LLP Umberlla
Foremans LLP