Temporary workers could be losing out on workplace rights

The Trade Union Congress says  temporary workers are part of a larger group of people in 'precarious work'.
The Trade Union Congress says temporary workers are part of a larger group of people in 'precarious work'.

Thousands of employees in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire are in temporary jobs, with trade union leaders warning they may be missing out on crucial workplace rights.

The Office of National Statistics show that 1900 people in East Renfrewshire and 16,600 in Glasgow are employed in non-permanent jobs. They include fixed-term contracts and agency, casual or seasonal work.

That’s around six per cent of employees in the area.

According to the Trade Union Congress, temporary workers are part of a larger group of people in “precarious work”.

The TUC estimates that one in nine UK workers are in precarious work, including staff on zero-hours contracts and self-employed people making less than minimum wage.

General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Lack of reliable income is not the only problem for people in this type of work.

“Insecure workers too often miss out on important rights like sick pay, parental leave or paid holidays. The Government should give all workers the same basic rights.”

Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary at trade union Unite, said the truth about insecure work in the UK is “far worse” than the official figures show.

She said: “Increasing numbers of workers are being forced into toxic, precarious, non-permanent employment, making it impossible to plan for their future and always fearful of dismissal.

“These figures don’t include the hundreds of thousands of workers who are forced into bogus self-employment, where they have all the characteristics of an employee but none of the rights.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the Government’s Good Work Plan will improve the rights of temporary workers.

It includes scrapping a legal loophole which enables some firms to pay agency workers less than permanent staff.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “We have a labour market we can be proud of, with more people in work than ever before.

“We are committed to ensuring the labour market works for everyone, and we’re the first country in the world to address modern working practices.”