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Staffing executives expect more regulatory restrictions for industry

Across the globe, the agency work sector foresees a trend of stricter conditions to operate in 2022. A new survey amongst national federations members of the World Employment Confederation flags a number of regulatory threats and the sector warns that it could prevent the sector to help labour markets recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

Published on 25th November 2021

13 out of 28 national federations surveyed within the membership of the World Employment Confederation (WEC) expect regulatory change that will have an overall negative impact on the staffing industry in 2022. The trend is global, with regulatory threats reported across all continents. The situation is particularly worrying for federations in Chile, Russia, Norway and Sweden, reveals the Staffing Executive Regulatory Outlook (SERO) produced by the organisation.

“The agency work sector is highly-regulated and any changes in the regulatory framework can have significant consequences – positively or negatively – on the economic growth of our industry and the well-functioning of labour markets. At a time where most labour markets across the world face shortage of labour, it would be counterproductive to restrict the positive role that the agency work industry can play in terms of labour market participation and inclusion,” explains Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation. “It is therefore important for our members to have a clear picture of the regulations applied around the world and to exchange with each other in order to then work with their own governments to create the regulatory frameworks that are the most appropriate for both workers and the industry.”

The Staffing Executive Regulatory Outlook (SERO) is a new tool developed by the World Employment Confederation, conducted on a quarterly basis amongst the top executives of its National Federations members around the world. The SERO looks into the likelihood of regulatory change in certain elements as well as the potential impact on the agency work sector of these changes. Seven elements are considered:

  • Conditions for establishment to provide agency work services and contracts
  • Conditions for use for agency work services
  • Labour conditions for agency workers
  • Social protection coverage for agency workers
  • Taxes and premiums related to agency work contracts and/or services
  • Other labour regulations
  • Other regulations

With its forward-looking view, the SERO complements the regulatory survey that the World Employment Confederation conducts annually amongst its members in order to create an overview of the regulation of agency work across the world. The Regulatory Report, a Members-only resource, offers a snapshot of the regulation of agency work markets across the world, whether by national law, collective bargaining or industry self-regulation, and therefore enables international comparison. In addition to the elements surveyed in the SERO, the Regulatory Report also provides information on social dialogue, collective bargaining and sectoral self-regulation.

In the context of the Covid-19 crisis and the significant impact it had on labour markets, it is essential that the agency work sector benefits from an appropriate regulatory framework and is able to play its role in creating employment, raising labour market participation and ensuring inclusiveness.

WEC members can access both the SERO and the Regulatory Report on the Members’ Area.

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