AWR: One year on

Posted on 10/12/2015 by Emma Dadswell


It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the controversial Agency Workers Regulations were introduced. But despite the near hysteria that surrounded the proposals last year – we have to say that from our perspective, the legislation has had a minimal impact on the temporary recruitment market – both from a client cost perspective and on our own temp numbers at Handle.

Here at Handle Recruitment, our Temp division has enjoyed sustained growth over the past year –in fact temp numbers are up an impressive 17% since 2011. And although we have noted a small decrease in longer term bookings - which may be attributed to seasonal tail-off – there has been a definite increase in short term contracts.

While the advantages to temps are obvious – equality of pay and benefits – recruiters have also benefited. It’s given us the opportunity to talk to our clients more whilst offering out advice and support throughout the AWR implementation. The brands we partner with are utilising our expertise and many have been happy to offer AWR rates from day one and have not been at all deterred from using temps in light of the regulations.

Emma Adler, Head of Resourcing at Sony Music Entertainment believes that the regulations strengthen the professionalism of the temporary market, ‘Here at Sony we understand the value that temporary workers can bring to an organisation - particularly within the fast-moving entertainment industry. In this profession, workforces need to be flexible to meet fluctuations in demand. Temps allow us to consistently maintain high standards of delivery and we are embracing the benefits and protection that the AWR offer our contract workers. Thanks to Handle, we have not had to contend with any extra administrative burden since the legislation was introduced - the consultants have taken the reigns on new procedures to ensure we look after our talent in the best way possible’.

So – the world didn’t end, the ceiling didn’t fall in and in fact, the changes the legislation instigated are overwhelmingly positive. By investing time in preparation, communication and administration – we have helped clients and candidates to navigate the changing landscape with ease.