Secret Agents: agency workers in the new world of work

Through the course of this report we have uncovered much new information about the lives of the UK’s ‘secret agents’. We have found two groups of agency workers – the permanent and the self-employed – who have been missing from all previous accounts. We have discovered what agency workers do, where they work and who they are. And, critically, we have found that there is a significant pay penalty attached to being an agency worker, with only little evidence to suggest that other features of this way of working compensate for this loss.