Employers have accused Labour leader Ed Miliband of putting jobs at risk by targeting a “perfectly legal” loophole used to exploit cheap foreign labour.
Ending the ability of unscrupulous bosses to undercut regular staff by paying agency workers lower wages would be among the steps Labour would take if it won the next election, Mr Miliband wrote in The Independent on Sunday.
The TUC claims agency staff are paid up to £135 a week less than permanent staff, despite working in the same place and doing the same job, because of a loophole in the Agency Workers’ Directive.
But Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “The flexible labour market in this country has saved jobs and kept our economy going during tough times.
“Undermining this flexibility would put the very system which has kept unemployment down at risk. The agency directive was not welcomed by business, and further gold-plating of EU rules can only cost jobs.”