AWR 'yet to curb temp staff hiring plans'

Energy giant Centrica and other employers that cutback on temporary workers because of their inflated cost under new agency worker rules should emerge as the exception, not the rule, according to an agency staffing body.

Speaking yesterday, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation said that the "vast majority" of businesses were not intending to respond to the Agency Workers Regulations by reducing their non-permanent headcount.

In fact, more than eight out of ten employers plan to either maintain or increase their use of temporary staff and contractors, in both the short and longer term, despite the regulations coming into force earlier this month.

Although this expected intake of temps is slightly down from the previous Outlook report, in September, the last three months of data show that "there are definite signs that confidence is returning."

"The underlying trend this month is one of improvement in employers' optimism about their future hiring intentions," added Roger Tweedy, REC research director.

"Employers will continue to err on the side of caution on how they shape their workforces in both the short and long-term. However… businesses in many sectors are still looking to attract workers with the right talent despite the difficult economic climate."

But again there is an exception, the REC hinted, pointing out that a growing number of employers in the public sector say spending cutbacks will impact jobs more deeply than they first thought.

Concern among the private sector notched up too, albeit marginally, with more than a fifth of businesses now saying the state-ordered cuts will impact their commercial operation in a 'serious' or 'very serious' way.

Thursday 27th October 2011