The recruitment sector is regulated by the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (the ‘Conduct Regulations’). In 2013, the Coalition Government consulted on proposed reforms to the legislation which would allow the recruitment sector greater freedom to fulfil its role in matching demand for jobs to demand for workers. The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the specific amendments we propose to make to the Conduct Regulations.
We are also seeking views on a proposal to prohibit employment agencies and employment businesses from recruiting solely from other European Economic Area (EEA) countries without advertising in Great Britain and in English.
Why We Are Consulting
The recruitment sector plays an important role in the UK’s labour market by improving the efficiency of matching demand for jobs to demand for workers. However, the legislation which regulates the sector was identified as needing reform and in 2013 the Coalition Government consulted on proposed reforms to the recruitment sector legislation.
The proposal was to focus on 4 outcomes to ensure that the sector could operate fairly and flexibly:
Employment agencies and employment businesses are restricted from charging fees to work-seekers
There is clarity on who is responsible for paying temporary workers for the work they have done
The contracts people have with recruitment firms should not hinder their movement between jobs, and temp-to-perm transfer fees are reasonable
Work-seekers have the confidence to use the sector and are able to assert their rights
In July 2013, after considering responses to the consultation, the Coalition Government published a response, setting out the intention to proceed with reforming the legislation. The purpose of consulting again now is to seek views on the specific amendments that we propose to make to the legislation, which will remove some of the burden from business, while continuing to protect people who are looking for work.
In addition, we are also seeking views on a proposal to ban employment agencies and employment businesses from recruiting solely from other EEA countries without advertising in Great Britain and in English. The proposal will only apply to employment agencies and employment businesses recruiting in other EEA countries, as those who want to recruit from outside of the EEA already need to comply with the Resident Labour Market Test.
The closing date for this consultation is Monday 23 November 2015.