As the consultation on the UK implementation of the Agency Workers Directive closes, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has written to the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, expressing major concerns about the legislation’s impact on the UK economy and flexible labour market.  

When the Directive is implemented, it will be one of the most costly regulations to British business in the last 10 years, with an annual burden on the private sector of at least £1.5 billion.  

In the letter, David Frost, Director General of the BCC argues:

 “With the economic downturn, it is even more important that implementation of this Directive is done in a way that does not discourage the use of the flexible workers that are so important to economic growth returning to the UK. “1 in 4 businesses in the UK use agency workers, rising to 1 in 2 for the largest companies so implementation of the Directive will clearly have a big financial impact. It is imperative that implementation is delayed until the last possible common commencement date, October 2011. Implementing earlier risks crippling the agency sector, hampering job creation, and stifling economic growth.”