Temporary workers agreement could raise UK development costs, says Tiga

Temporary workers agreement could raise UK development costs, says Tiga
Michael French

By Michael French

May 22nd 2008 at 5:00PM

UK association warns that raising the cost of employing freelancers could hurt development

UK games development trade association has warned that the British Government's recent agreement to acknowledge equal rights for agency, temp and freelance workers could further drive up the cost of games development.

Earlier this week UK authorities agreed an EU directive which said temporary workers would get the same rights as full-time employees after 12 weeks' work.

"This is the right deal for Britain. Today's agreement achieves our twin objectives of flexibility for British employers and fairness for workers," the UK's Business Secretary John Hutton said at the time.

But Tiga is unimpressed.

“The Government brokered deal giving 1.4 million temporary and agency workers equal rights with permanent staff could reduce labour market flexibility, dampen employment growth by making them more expensive and increase costs on business," commented CEO Richard Wilson.

“Approximately 8 per cent of the video games industry’s workforce consists of freelance and temporary workers. It makes no sense to increase the cost of employment – least of all in an economic downturn.

“If we are to succeed in our ambition of making the UK the best place in the world to do games business then the Government should think twice before adding to business costs. Any qualification period for giving temporary workers new rights should be measured in months rather than weeks.”