Today there are more than a quarter of a million temporary agency workers in Britain; accounting for over 1% of the total workforce and a new report has confirmed the positive financial impact that temporary agency workers have on businesses. Abbey Personnel Services’ figures have shown consistently through the recession and beyond that businesses are continuing to, and in many industries increasing their use of temps. The report from National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) reveals that using agency workers is “positively associated with financial performance in the British private sector and weakly associated with higher sales per employee.” The study found a company moving from no use of temporary agency workers to use of temporary agency worker increased its probability of having a financial performance that is a lot better than average by 11%.
Other research, cited in the report, showed between 1998-2004, 54% of managers believed workplace performance was better when using temporary agency workers, compared with 44% among those who employ only permanent staff.
Despite contradictory reports in the press last week, NIESR found it difficult to find any link between how hard permanent employees work and the use of temporary agency workers concluding that “there may be no direct impact of temporary agency work on the intensity with which employees work”.