The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has described the government’s new agreement over the rights of agency staff as the "least worst option".

Under the terms of the agreement, which was announced yesterday (May 20th), agency workers will be given the same employment rights as full-time staff after having worked at an organisation for 12 weeks.

Commenting on the move, CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said: "There has been a major risk of damaging legislation coming from Brussels and the CBI has judged that the government’s proposals represent the least worst outcome available for British business."

He went on to say that half of the UK’s agency assignments will be unaffected by the deal as they last for less than three months.

Mr Cridland also pointed out that, while pay is included in the new rights package for agency staff, other benefits that recognise the long-term relationship permanent workers build up with their employer – such as sick pay – are "rightly excluded".