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Government Response To Recruitment Sector Consultation

Last week, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published the government’s response to the consultation on proposed reform to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (also known as the Conduct Regulations); the legislation which regulates employment agencies and employment businesses.

The consultation, which ran from 13 October 2015 to 23 November 2015, proposed to amend the Conduct Regulations and introduce a ban on employment agencies from recruiting work-seekers exclusively from overseas European Economic Area (EEA) countries without advertising those vacancies to domestic candidates. At present, regulation 27A of the Conduct Regulations does not require a job to be advertised in Great Britain and in English if the agency recruits workers from the EEA who are already on its books, rather than new work-seekers. 

In the response, the government has stated its intention to amend regulation 27A so that employment agencies will have to advertise jobs in English to domestic work-seekers. In context, this is only applicable to EEA countries, as recruitment outside of the EEA has to be compliant with the Resident Labour Market Test. Further proposed changes to the regulations include:

  • The removal of regulation 9, which restricts employment agencies from telling work-seekers that they are an employment agency, whilst informing the hirer that they are an employment business.
  • The removal of regulation 17, which requires employment businesses to enter into written terms and conditions before being able to supply services.
  • The removal of regulation 11, which prohibits employment agencies from entering into a contract on a client’s behalf.
  • Amendments to regulation 23, to remove provisions which require an employment agency or an employment business to determine that another employment agency or employment business which it enters into a contract with is suitable to act in that capacity.

This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose.

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