The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned the Government's decision to grant agency workers similar employment rights to full-time staff would be "disastrous". The Government wants to allow agency workers similar rights to full-time employees after just 12 weeks of work. Equal treatment will be defined to mean at least the basic pay, working and employment conditions that would apply if agency workers had been recruited directly by an employer. The FSB's Tina Sommer said: “This is a disastrous deal for small businesses, which rely on the flexibility provided by agency workers. “Agency fees and high hourly rates mean temporary workers, far from being seen as cheap labour, are already a costly but useful way of responding to fluctuations in demand. "If that flexibility is lost, many small businesses will stop using temporary employees." She added: "Part of the reason for the UK’s relative economic success in the past decade has been the flexibility of its workforce. "This deal could put all that at risk at the worst possible time. “After month-on-month increases in unemployment and with economic growth at its lowest point since the last recession, this is the last thing small businesses need.”