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Agency nurses to get 'equal conditions'

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Agency nurses must receive equal treatment to permanent staff after 12 weeks in a post, under a joint declaration by the government, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress.

Equal treatment is defined to mean ‘at least the basic working and employment conditions’ that would apply to permanent nursing staff.

‘Agency workers are becoming an increasing feature of the public sector and we want to make sure that they are treated fairly. We will continue campaigning to protect those workers not covered by the agreement, who may still be exploited and abused by bad bosses,’ said TUC president Dave Prentis.

‘We want to make sure that proper penalties are imposed on employers who abuse their position,’ he added.

The agreement follows a long-running debate between the key stakeholders that has lasted more than five years.

A European Union directive on agency staff is also expected later this year, which UK ministers hope will be based on the joint agreement.

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