The Agency Workers Directive comes into force today, giving equal employment rights to agency staff after a 12-week qualification period.
Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said regulatory changes were counter-productive, and described the directive as “unwelcome”.
She said: “A hard-won 12-week qualification period for each temp to be in a firm before the rules are applied should help control costs and minimise administrative burdens. But the new rules will still act as a brake on jobs.”
The CBI said the new rules on agency workers will cost employers an estimated £1.8 billion a year, and affect more than 1.6 million workers.
Kathleen Walker-Shaw, European officer for the GMB union, said: “We welcome the long-awaited rights. GMB wants to see agency and other employers using their energies to implement these rights in the spirit in which they were intended.”