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07 October 2002

Temporary workers gain new rights from this month
Fixed-term contract workers have until this month lost out on many employment rights. One in four workplaces paid no sick pay, for example, and one in eight denied them holiday pay. But from this month the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against the one and half million UK employees currently on fixed-term contracts.

The latest booklet from the Labour Research Department, Temporary workers - a guide to the new law, is a timely guide to the new regulations. It gives a clear explanation of the new legislation, together with information on how other parts of employment law can protect employees on fixed-term contracts.

While trade unions have broadly welcomed the new law, as it provides protection against blatant forms of discrimination, many believe that an opportunity has been missed to give protection to a wider range of workers in temporary employment. Temporary workers looks at the background to the legislation, which was introduced as a result of a European Union directive, and points out where the UK law differs from the directive, and where, indeed, it may be subject to a legal challenge.

Temporary workers - a guide to the new law also provides practical advice to union representatives on negotiating with employers over fixed-term contract staff, and gives a series of useful checklists
 

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