Unfair dismissal of agency workers or unfair legislation in the UK for businesses using agency workers?

Pierre de Gioia-Carabellese, Mark J. Shuttleworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The contribution encapsulates a legal discussion on the controversial figure of the agency workers, from the judicial debate blossomed during the last decade in the British courts, as regards their legal characterization, until the most recent developments, particularly the legislative framework passed in Britain, the Agency Workers Regulations. On such footings, the investigation focuses on the main law provisions of the recent British legislation, including the most crucial limbs of the domestic statute. Additionally and against the backdrop of a comparative analysis, where the Italian jurisdiction is adopted as the "comparator", criticism is expressed by the authors as regards the way the "harmonisation" of EU inspiration (the Temporary Agency Work Directive) has been brought about in this strategic and increasingly important sector of the job market. Particularly, it is adumbrated the view that Britain, with its rigorous and rigid implementation of the Directive, may be currently damaging its own businesses with its irrationality of harsh rules, whereas a country like Italy, where the pertinent EU piece of legislation is applied with an indirect technique - i.e. the tolerance towards the already existing legislation of the fornitura di servizi (provision of services) - may de facto be dodging the constraints of the legislator in Brussels. These findings, of comparative law flavour, with the prominent example of Italy highlighted as a tenuous background, may confirm the sceptical view that, since the beginning, some scholars had expressed towards the Directive and its nebulous teleology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-660
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Business Law Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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