We are well beyond the end of the first qualifying period under AWR, and as of yet, we haven’t seen the swathes of employment tribunals many leading commentators were predicting.
That doesn’t mean that the industry needs to switch off, we believe that there will be a tribunal at some point in the not too distant future, but there has been a couple of exchanges in the House of Commons last week that would suggest that the Government is looking to wash its hands of all things AWR.
First of all we had Mark Lancaster, the Conservative MP from Milton Keynes North, who asked the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment has been made of the effect the Agency Workers Regulation has had on the unemployment figures for 2011.
Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs replied that no assessment has been made of the impact the impact AWR has had on the unemployment figures for 2011. However, he did say that the Government would monitor the impact of AWR on the job market.
In a follow up question, Mr Lancaster then asked what assessment had been made of the effect of AWR on small, independent recruitment agencies. Something we looked at in last week’s blog after reports in the FT.
Norman Lamb replied that no assessment has been made by the Government on the effect of AWR on small, independent recruitment agencies. However they will work with representatives from trade associations to monitor the impact of the regulations on the market.
We also know that the Government has committed to a paper review of AWR in November 2012 which we discussed last December, however all this does is smack of trying to brush it all under the carpet. Perhaps the UK Government has realised there isn’t much they can do with this EU led legislation and are picking their battles. There have been some well publicised skirmishes with Europe over Greek financial bailouts and the European Court of Human Rights for example and perhaps AWR is small fry compared to these and not worth going into bat for or against?
What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell us your view.