AGENCY staff will get new rights to holiday pay as a result of a crucial European ruling on part-time workers.
The Department of Trade and Industry has conceded that it now has no alternative but to remove the 13-week qualifying period of holiday pay, after the European Court of Justice upheld a case brought by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union.
"Large number of lecturers will directly benefit." said lecturers' union NATFHE. It estimates one in five colleges uses agency lecturers.
The amendment to the 1998 Working Time Regulations will take effect after October. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers claims agencies could get round the regulations by simply employing people on lower rates which compensate for the extra holiday pay.