The principle of equal treatment
1. The basic working and employment conditions of temporary agency workers shall be,
for the duration of their assignment at a user undertaking, at least those that would apply if they had been recruited directly by that undertaking to occupy the same job.
2. As regards pay, Member States may, after consulting the social partners, provide that an exemption be made to the principle established in paragraph 1 when temporary agency workers who have a permanent contract of employment with a temporary agency continue to be paid in the time between assignments.
3. Member States may, after consulting the social partners, give them, at the appropriate level and subject to the conditions laid down by the Member States, the option of upholding or concluding collective agreements which, while respecting the overall protection of temporary agency workers, may establish arrangements concerning the working and employment conditions of temporary agency workers which may differ from those referred to in paragraph 1.
4. As long as an adequate level of protection is provided for temporary agency workers, Member States, in which there is either no system in law for declaring collective agreements universally applicable or no such system in law or practice for extending their provisions to all similar undertakings in a certain sector or geographical area, may,after consulting the social partners at national level and on the basis of an agreement concluded by them, establish arrangements concerning the basic working and employment conditions which derogate from the principle established in paragraph 1.
Such arrangements may include a qualifying period for equal treatment.
The arrangements referred to in this paragraph shall be in conformity with Community legislation and shall be sufficiently precise and accessible to allow the sectors and firms concerned to identify and comply with their obligations and, in particular, Member States shall specify in application of Article 3(2) whether the occupational social security schemes, including pension, sick pay or financial participation schemes are included in the basic working and employment conditions in paragraph 1. Such arrangements shall also be without prejudice to agreements at national, regional, local or
sectoral level that are no less favourable to workers.
5. Member States shall take appropriate measures, in accordance with national law and/or practice, with a view to preventing misuse in the application of this Article and, in particular, to preventing successive assignments designed to circumvent the provisions of this Directive. They shall inform the Commission about such measures.
Review of restrictions or prohibitions
1. Prohibitions or restrictions on the use of temporary agency work are justified only on grounds of general interest relating in particular to the protection of temporary agency workers, the requirements of health and safety at work or the need to ensure that the labour market functions properly and abuses are prevented.