Regulation needed for supply teacher agencies, union says

At an annual conference in Manchester, the NASUWT teachers’ union heard that regulation is needed in order to stem exploitation of staff and the cost to the taxpayer.

It was revealed that supply teachers are being exposed to a “raft of exploitative employment practices, including denial of entitlements on pay, pensions and working conditions”.

Many have also told the NASUWT that they have been forced to sign up to umbrella companies which allow agencies to dodge their tax and national insurance liabilities.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “There are also serious questions about the fees agencies are charging schools and whether these represent the true cost of supplying temporary staff. The increasing costs being levied on schools are not as a result of agencies paying supply teachers a premium or even paying them fairly.

“The Government’s failure to regulate employment agencies and umbrella companies is allowing unscrupulous providers to profiteer from children’s education.”

He continued: “The NASUWT will be continuing to campaign for national standards to be introduced to regulate supply agencies so that schools, teachers and the taxpayer get a fair deal.”

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