Jo Stevens

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Are You Paid Less Because You're an Agency Worker?

Two people working alongside each other doing the same job should get the same rate of pay. 
This week, the TUC published a report which shows that unscrupulous employers are undercutting wages by keeping people on agency contracts for years.
The Swedish derogation loophole – which the TUC has dubbed “the Undercutters’ Charter” – allows workers placed with companies through agencies, to be paid less than direct employees, provided the agency agrees to continue paying them for at least four weeks at times when it is unable to find them work. 
The TUC’s report shows that 6 in 10 agency workers are being employed in the same role at the same workplace for more than a year. And that 1 in 3 have been in the same role for over two years. 1 in 6 have been in the same role for more than five years.
On average, agency workers are paid £1.50 less an hour than permanent staff. At some workplaces it’s £4 less an hour or even £7 for those working anti-social shifts.
The Tory Government could introduce regulations to remove this loophole but instead, is stalling and issuing yet another consultation which just kicks the issue into the long grass out of sight and out of mind. 
That means unscrupulous employers can freely carry on exploiting the law and paying agency workers less.
I’m working with the TUC to campaign to make the Government act and end this loophole. I know that many constituents are employed through agencies so if you are an agency worker and are being paid less for the doing the same job as your work colleague, please get in touch at


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