Many people have criticized the move by the government to treat agency workers as permanent employees. New rules that came into force recently said that agency workers in Britain needed additional rights, as well as benefits. Majumder (2012) argues that this will lead to additional costs that could amount to two billion pounds.
He further adds that the government should not spend that immense amount of money on agency workers, especially at a time when civil servants’ salaries have been frozen. He says that the government spends money unnecessarily when it should concentrate on development projects.
Armstrong (2006) says that Britain’s public sector is currently experiencing redundancy when it comes to large scale. Economically, such spending cannot be said to be sustainable especially at a time when the government wants to implement mass redundancy.
Shrinking of governmental headcount has also been noted. Spending money on agency workers may not be encouraged given the state of the economy. The government needs to reduce its spending in order to save. Britain has also been talking of reduced jobs as a way to increase on government savings.
The critics, however, need to understand that the economy cannot do without agency workers. These workers help in filling the gaps brought about by a shortage of labor in various sectors of the economy. Research shows that agency workers help in improving performance of a company. However, this poses a challenge to permanent employees who receive lower wages than that received by the agency employee. NIESR notes that hiring many agency workers can reduce the wages paid to permanent employees for the same roles.
Permanent employees also are affected when their salaries may take time before being increased. Agency employees help the employers to save on costs, which leads to increased profitability. Many employers share this profit with the permanent workers within the company (Booth, Dolado & Frank, 2005).
Permanent employees do not get job satisfaction when the company they work for employs several agency workers. This also leads to job anxiety for fear that the temporary employees might be hired permanently, which could make them lose their jobs. Permanent employees also find such organizations as highly cost conscious; hence not comfortable working in those companies. Currently, it would be hard for the government to employ permanent nurses.
Research shows that, in a day, the government needs at least 20,000 agent nurses. The critics need to understand that hospitals cannot operate without these agents. This would mean serious shortage leading to deaths of several innocent patients. The agencies look for competent people with various qualifications. Britain does not hire people who do not possess the necessary minimum qualifications.
Critics believe that schools have registered an increase in the supply of teachers. Demand for education has necessitated demand for more teachers, and because the government cannot afford to employee many permanent teachers, the option remains hiring agency teachers. As mentioned earlier, the government agencies hire qualified, temporary, employees.
The government gives minimum qualifications, which must be met by the candidates. On the issue of teaching poor lessons in schools, the critics need to understand that agency workers mainly come from the minority groups in Britain, which include Asians, Africans, and other minority groups.
Discrimination against race remains an issue in Britain. Britain citizens need to understand that the agency teachers can deliver as much as a permanent teacher can deliver. This is the only way people are going to appreciate the agent teachers. Some other critics assert that students and patient do not like seeing different faces each day, which comes due to organizations making use of temporary worker (Armstrong, 2006).
Clients need to understand that only one person cannot serve them. Even without having agency workers, permanent workers also work in shifts. Therefore, the excuse of seeing different faces should not be used. Once again, the clients, as well as the critics should appreciate employees keep on changing places, and this.
Permanent employees also go for leave, and their vacancies must be filled, not by permanent employees, but by temporary agencies. Most agency workers benefit from this form of employment. These people would have remained jobless if agency jobs did not exist. Most of these workers appreciate the fact that they are hired on a contract basis. Some permanent employees admit that they got their permanent jobs after working as temporary employees (Majumder, 2012).
Some critics argue that the government needs to employ permanent employees rather than depending on agency workers. They base their argument on the fact that, recently, the government came up with a policy whereby the agency workers would benefit from increased salaries, as well as other benefits, which permanent employees enjoy.
This means that agency employees will be receiving similar benefits to those received by other employees. This is why critics do not find it sensible. Instead, the government should employ these agency employees on permanent basis. The critics fail to understand that agency workers are competent people who need respect. The government has also promised to be hiring qualified employees as it has previously done.
The fact that agency employees belong to the minority groups in Britain should not make these employees less effective as compared to permanent employees. These people need appreciation, and stern action ought to be taken against whoever fails to respect them. Organizations also need to allocate equal duties to both permanent and temporary employees in order to ensure equality; hence job satisfaction.
Armstrong, M. (2006). Human Resource Management Practice. Retrieved from http://hornbill.dcschool.net/gsdl/collect/600techn/index/assoc/hash404c.dir/doc.pdf
Booth, A. L., Dolado, J. J., & Frank, J. (2005). Symposium on temporary work – introduction, The Economic Journal, 112(2), 181-8. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-0297.00044/abstract
Majumder, T. H. (2012). Human Resource Management Practices and Employees’ Satisfaction. International Review of Management and Marketing, 2(1), 52-58. Retrieved from www.econjournals.com/index.php/irmm/article/download/99/84