Recession no excuse to mistreat vulnerable workers
Employee Management Articles
Submit Articles Back to Articles
Issued Date: 17 Mar 2009
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden today warned
employment agencies against using the recession as an excuse to
mistreat vulnerable workers.
During a visit to hospitality recruitment specialists Admiral
Group, Pat McFadden said:
"The vast majority of agencies are working very hard to treat
people fairly. I have seen at first hand today an agency that treats
its clients and candidates with respect.
"But there are some employment agencies who are short changing
their staff and not playing by the rules. We will not allow rogue
employers to use the downturn as an excuse to cut corners and deprive
staff of their rights at work - or undercut other businesses that are
doing the right thing. The recession is no excuse to mistreat
While visiting Admiral in London's West End, Mr McFadden met
with Admiral staff and their team of agency workers. He also met
Admiral staff working "on-location" at a nearby restaurant.
Pat McFadden said:
"Our call for fairness is backed up by action. Our
£1.25million campaign to help agency workers know their rights and help
employers know their responsibilities is already paying dividends. The
number of calls to the Employment Agency standards helpline has tripled
in recent weeks and the website has had 57,000 hits since the launch of
"Over recent months, we have doubled the number of Employment
Agency Standards inspectors and extended their powers so that they can
crack down on rule-breakers. The team has had some good successes, but
we recognise that there is still more to do."
Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment
"As the representative body for the whole recruitment
industry, the REC is delighted that the Minister is getting a first
hand view of the critical service that the vast majority of legitimate
and law-abiding agencies such as Admiral provide for workers and
businesses on a daily basis. The REC has led the calls for greater
enforcement from Government for many years and welcomes the aims of
addressing rogue businesses that exploit workers and undercut agencies
that are adhering to industry Codes of Practice and regulation."
Paula Rogers, founder and Managing Director of Admiral Group
"Agencies work in a very competitive environment, especially
in the current climate. Admiral competes for the very best talent. We
have always placed an emphasis on fair pay and conditions as an
important part of our offer. We have a much better chance of keeping
the best teams if they are valued and respected.
"This campaign is an excellent step forward in ensuring that
temporary workers are not exploited and that non legitimate businesses
are exposed in this difficult climate."
Heath Potgieter, a waiter with Admiral since August 2007 said:
"The flexibility of agency work suits me best. I'm very happy
with Admiral, but this campaign recognizes that agency workers play an
equally important role as long term employees. This campaign will
further help ensure everyone is treated fairly and with respect as an
Information on agency workers' rights can be accessed via the
DirectGov website, and any workers who think they are not getting a
fair deal should contact the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate
on 0845 955 5105. Businesslink.gov.uk contains further information on
how recruiters can ensure compliance with the law.
1. The Government's 'Know Your Rights' campaign launched on 9
February, with over £1.25million being used to ensure that agency
workers know their rights. It was set up following the recommendations
from the Vulnerable Workers Enforcement Forum. The forum brings
together front line unions, workplace enforcement agencies, business
groups and advice bodies to look at evidence about the nature and
extent of abuse of workplace rights.
2. Business Minister Pat McFadden has written to around 13,000
employment agencies across the UK.
3. DirectGov is the Government's public services web portal.
For specific information on agency workers, see http://www.direct.gov.uk/agencywor
4. The Employment Agency Standards inspectorate is part of the
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The
Inspectorate carries out inspections of agencies on the basis of
perceived risk of non-compliance and investigates complaints about
5. Businesslink.gov.uk is a free business advice and support
service, available online and through local advisers. For specific
information for employment agencies, please see http://www.businesslink
About the Author© Crown Copyright. Material taken
from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced
under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-18 14:15:19 in Employee Articles