§ Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in discussions within the EU on securing equal treatment for agency workers under the part-time working directive. 
§ Mr. Alan Johnson
I understand that the Social Partners have held three meetings to date to discuss a possible framework agreement covering agency workers. The European directive on part-time work of 1997 was implemented in the UK through the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, in July this year. These regulations give protection to all workers, including agency workers, against less favourable treatment on the grounds that they work part-time.