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Agency Workers

Volume 635: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2018

The Government work to ensure that our labour markets work for everyone. That was why the Prime Minister asked Matthew Taylor to carry out an independent review on modern working practices. The Government are considering the issues that the review has raised, including rules governing the use of agency workers. The review is comprehensive and detailed, and we have been giving the report the careful consideration it deserves. We will respond shortly.

Two thousand workers in BT call centres, some of whom handle 999 calls, are paid up to £500 less per month than permanent staff because BT uses the loophole known as the Swedish derogation under agency workers regulations. Taylor recommended its abolition; when will the Minister get on with it?

As I have outlined, the Matthew Taylor report does, in some depth, look at the Swedish issue. I am meeting Matthew Taylor this afternoon, and that issue will be one of those that we shall discuss. I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that in 2017, the employment agency standards inspectorate dealt with more than 800 complaints from agency workers. EAS investigations have protected an estimated 303,000 agency workers, and we will continue to defend their interests.