On 2 November, the Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary TD, announced the publication of a public consultation on the EU ‘Temporary Agency Work Directive’ which was adopted by the European Union in 2008 and is due to be transposed into Irish national law by 5 December 2011.

The Directive provides the basis on which temporary agency workers will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions (including pay) as if they had been recruited directly to the same job. The consultation is a first key step in preparing the Bill to implement the Directive by the due date. Through this public consultation, the views of a cross-section of interested parties are being sought including, agency workers, employment agencies and hiring undertakings to whom agency workers are assigned by an employment agency.

Under the provisions of the Directive, it is open to Social Partners at national level to reach an agreement which can, for example, define a waiting period during which an agency worker could be assigned without necessarily acquiring the full range of entitlements as a directly-recruited employee in a user (hirer) undertaking.

The deadline for views on the draft provisions under the wider public consultation is 30 November, 2010.