Up to 30,000 temporary agency workers in Ireland should benefit from the same pay and conditions as full time staff under a new law agreed by EU labour ministers early this morning.
Following marathon talks in Luxembourg yesterday, ministers finally agreed a deal on two related labour laws: the working time and temporary agency workers directives.
Under the agreement, agency workers should normally receive equal pay and conditions from day one of starting work. A flexibility clause included in the legislation will enable employers to negotiate with trade unions to try to introduce a phase-in period before full rights are received for some industrial sectors.
But in the absence of this type of social partnership deal the default position for agency workers is full rights from day one.