Unite the Union

Unite the Union

December 03, 2007 19:01 ET

New move on equal treatment for all workers

Andrew Miller MP announces his Private Members' Bill on agency workers

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2007) -

Embargo for 00.01hours, Tuesday, December 4th 2007

Attention: industrial, political and business correspondents

Andrew Miller MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston has today (Tuesday, December 4th,2007) announced that he will be promoting a Private Members' Bill to secure equal treatment for agency workers, the Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill. The Bill will ensure that over 1.4 million 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 an EU 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.

Mr Miller was third in this year's Private Members' Ballot, which means that he will have parliamentary time for full debate of his proposals. Mr Miller is inviting the government to work with him to ensure that the widely supported proposals progress into law:

"I draw on David Miliband's speech to the College of Europe when he said, "This is not a race to the bottom. Europe is a model for reconciling economic dynamism with social justice". 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."

The Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill is sponsored by Tony Lloyd MP and chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Manchester Central), Rt Hon George Howarth MP (Knowsley North and Sefton East), Margaret Moran MP (Luton South), Dennis Skinner MP (Bolsover), Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP (Oxford East), Ann Cryer MP (Keighley), Rt Hon Alun Michael MP (Cardiff South & Penarth), Kevan Jones MP (North Durham), Dawn Butler MP (Brent South), Ben Chapman MP (Wirral South) and the Rt Hon Ann Clywd MP (Cynon Valley).

It is hoped the second reading will be in February 2008.

Contact Information

  • Andrew Miller MP
    020 7219 3580
    For cases involving agency workers call Unite:
    07958 473 224/07976 832 861