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By 2020 Britain Could Have One Million Agency Workers

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By 2020 Britain Could Have One Million Agency Workers

Average pay penalty of £430 for the forgotten face of non-traditional employment.

The number of agency workers has grown by 30 per cent since 2011, and now stands at 865,000, a new report by the independent think-tank Resolution Foundation reveals today (Monday) as it launches a major 18-month investigation into agency work.

The report highlights agency staff as the ‘forgotten face’ in the recent debate around insecure work, where the issue has largely been ignored despite there being similar numbers of people doing agency work as are on zero-hour contracts. This lack of visibility came to light recently at the Sports Direct warehouse in Shirebrook, where the treatment of staff on zero-hours contracts was big news and acted upon, while the exploitation of agency staff remains unaddressed.


The Foundation says that the number of agency workers across Britain is expected to hit one million by the end of this parliament, if the growth of recent years continues.

The report shows that while there are good reasons for some workers and employers to use agencies, there is a pay penalty associated with agency work even when characteristics such as age, occupation and education level are taken into account.

The analysis finds that all else being equal, a full time agency worker earns £430 year less than an identical employee in the same role. Despite the stereotype of agency workers being short term and temporary, half of all agency workers actually say they work on a permanent basis and three-quarters work full time. The Foundation says that this loss of earnings could therefore affect their ability to provide for their family and save for the future.

Pay is not the only area where agency workers have a disadvantage. Because agency workers are usually classed as workers rather than employees they are not entitled to sick pay or parental leave pay, have no notice period and little recourse in event of dismissal.


When looking across the whole agency workforce, the Foundation’s analysis finds:

  • The most significant sectors for agency work are health and social work (where 18 per cent of all agency workers have jobs), manufacturing (17 per cent) and business activities (17 per cent). This shows that agency work is a feature of the public as well as private sector.
  • Close to one in five agency workers (18 per cent) are to be found in London.
  • 54 per cent of all agency workers are male, the same gender split as overall employment. However, women account for 85 per cent of the growth in the number of temporary agency workers over the last five years.
  • 28 per cent of agency workers have a degree or equivalent qualification, compared to 33 per cent of the overall workforce.
  • Six in ten agency workers are UK nationals (compared to over eight in ten in the overall workforce). EU nationals account for 22 per cent of agency workers (compared to 7 per cent overall) and people from the rest of the world account for the remaining 17 per cent (compared to 9 per cent overall).
  • Ethnic minorities are three times more likely to be agency workers than white workers.

Lindsay Judge, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“While zero-hours contracts are often in the news, agency workers are the ‘forgotten face’ of the modern workforce, despite being just as prevalent across the labour market.

We need to do a better job of understanding who this group of soon-to-be a million agency workers is

“We need to do a better job of understanding who this group of soon-to-be a million agency workers is. This fast growing group is not just made up of young people looking for temporary employment as some have suggested, but instead includes many older full-time, permanent workers.

“Many agency workers value the flexibility, variety and absence of bureaucracy that being employed through an agency brings. But when agency work has an average pay penalty of £430 a year, many are likely to working in this way out of necessity rather than choice.

“With the prospect of higher inflation squeezing living standards in the years ahead it is important that the discussion of the non-traditional parts of work in modern Britain consider the relatively lower pay that agency workers receive compared to identical employees in similar jobs. This merits serious examination from government, with an official measure of agency workers being a good place to start.”

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Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green

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A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.


Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before


Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?

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Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.


Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.


Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

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