Tiga CEO Richard Wilson says new employment regulations in the U.K. that extend equal rights to temporary and freelance employees could end up hurting the country’s game development industry.
The U.K. government agreed to a European Union directive earlier this week that said temporary and freelance employees will receive the same rights as full-time employees in a company after 12 weeks of work. John Hutton, the government’s Business Secretary, applauded the agreement, saying at the time, “This is the right deal for Britain. Today’s agreement achieves our twin objectives of flexibility for British employers and fairness for workers.”
But Wilson claimed the new regulations would place an additional burden on the country’s game industry, which makes extensive use of temporary employees. “The government-brokered deal giving 1.4 million temporary and agency workers equal rights with permanent staff could reduce labor market flexibility, dampen employment growth by making them more expensive and increase costs on business,” he said.
“Approximately eight percent of the videogame industry’s workforce consists of freelance and temporary workers. It makes no sense to increase the cost of employment – least of all in an economic downturn,” he continued. “If we are to succeed in our ambition of making the U.K. the best place in the world to do games business, then the government should think twice before adding to business costs. Any qualification period for giving temporary workers new rights should be measured in months rather than weeks.”
Tiga has also recently renewed calls for tax breaks for U.K.-based developers, saying reduced taxes and rebates in other countries are having a detrimental impact on the domestic development scene.