Have you ever wondered why a company will go for contract workers or outsourced staff instead of directly employing the same competent workers from an available pool?
This is primarily done to cheat workers and the system—to enable employers escape many of the existing legal liabilities of taking on a worker and still be able to benefit wholesomely from the person’s work.
The contract or agency staff conundrum is not just associated with Ghana, it’s a global issue—a product of our existing laissez faire market.
Though employment is a form of contract (exchange of skills or services for remuneration) between employees and employers, the huge disparity in the bargaining force leaves the individual in desperate need of work with little or no power to make demands.
This has given rise to a widespread global system where employers are doing everything possible under the sun to pay as little as possible to workers while demanding maximum, sometimes unrealistic output from these same workers.
In countries like the United Kingdom, the existence of a strict minimum wage scheme together with the fact that certain basic workers’ rights cannot be undermined, even if the worker is an agency staff or contract worker help lessen the unfair treatment workers suffer in the hands of employers.
On 1st October 2011 UK’s Government introduced the Agency Workers Regulations which gives ‘agency workers’ the right to equal treatment (with permanent staff working at the same organisation).