Get Set for New Laws over Rights for Agency Workers; LEGAL & FINANCE

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Employers have been warned to prepare themselves for the implications of Government plans to introduce equal rights for agency workers after just 12 weeks of service.

Mike Wakeling, business dispute resolution partner at Stratford-upon-Avon law firm Lodders, said employers should seek expert advice if they were uncertain as to how the new laws would affect them.

The Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry have reached agreement with the Government on a scheme under which agency workers would be entitled to equal treatment with permanent employees.

Mike Wakeling said: "The Government wants to get this into the terms of the Temporary Workers Directive at the next European Council meeting and hopes to introduce legislation in the 2008-09 parliamentary sessions.

"Employers who use agency workers need to be aware of the implications of this new law on the operation of their business and should seek legal advice."

Healthcare-focused law firm, Capsticks, will open an office in Birmingham in November.

The team, based at 35 Newhall Street, Birmingham, has most recently hired two well respected health sector lawyers from Bevan Brittan. Healthcare lawyer Richard Annandale joined as a consultant in August, bringing on board many years' experience, and healthcare employment specialist Jacqui Atkinson has joined as an associate.

Partner Gary Hay, who will be spearheading the growth of the Birmingham office, said: "We have a very successful track record in London and the South East and it has always been part of our strategic vision to open elsewhere in UK. This, combined with client demand and winning a place on the Healthcare Purchasing Consortium (HPC) framework for the West Midlands, made Birmingham a clear favourite to open our first office outside London. …