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GSD announces agency worker policy and slams ‘parallel public service’

GSD Headqtrs 27- 10 -18 (Photos Johnny Bugeja ) is the centre/centre-right political party in Gibraltar. Founded 1989

The GSD will announce an agency worker policy following meetings with all local unions as it blasted the Government for creating a “parallel public service run by agency workers in insecure jobs”.

In sketching out this policy, the GSD said the exploitation of agency workers, often young people, is a major concern for the party.

In a statement the GSD explained that many are paid the minimum wage for years, often doing the same job as their public servant counterparts with poor leave entitlements.

It is not as if the taxpayer saves a lot of money, it added.

“The reason for that is that it is the recruitment agency that employees the agency worker and then places that agency worker within a Government department, agency or authority.”

“Those recruitment agencies get paid substantially more for that worker’s hourly labour than they then pay the worker,” the GSD’s statement read.

“So for example, last week some of our MPs met a group of workers paid the minimum wage by the relevant recruitment agency when that agency was being paid 60% more by the public authority.”

“Some owners of recruitment consultants are, therefore, minting it at tax payer and worker expense,” the GSD said.

Additionally the party claimed that through the simple device of moving agency workers around from one part of the public service to another – for example from the Care Agency to the GHA - or changing their role before 52 weeks are up, the Government prevents those workers from acquiring the same pay and leave conditions as their permanent public service counterparts.

The GSD said that under the Agency Workers Regulations 2012 if an agency worker is employed in the same role for more than 52 weeks he or she will acquire the right to the “same working and employment conditions” as permanent employees doing the same job.

“It is a sad state of affairs that a Socialist Government relies on legal loopholes to prevent workers from accruing employment rights,” the party said.

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