- Jo Faragher
The Government launched its first consultation on the industry’s key legislative framework (namely the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations, and the Employment Agencies Act) back in January.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is directing the regulatory review, outlined four key objectives that any revised legislation should cover: that it should restrict agencies from charging fees to jobseekers; that there should be clarity on who pays temporary workers, that contracts people have with recruitment companies don’t hinder their movement between jobs, and that jobseekers have confidence in the industry.
Representatives from industry bodies including the REC, APSCo, the Institute of Recruiters and the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) have all met with employment relations minister Jo Swinson to discuss their concerns.
Adrian Marlowe, chairman of ARC, summarised their position as follows: “ARC members reject the idea of self-regulation, which may cause standards to drop with few advantages for the industry, the main winners being job boards and less professional organisations.
“We oppose material change to the rules on transfer fees, which work well, or to enforcement through the employment tribunal, which would increase costs and engender an element of fear with no tangible benefit to workers. Otherwise the opportunity to modernise and remove some unnecessary rules as well as include new provisions addressing inconsistencies arising from the expanding RPO model is very welcome.”