Government purge on Plymouths rogue recruiters
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Date: 03 Dec 2008
Twelve employment agencies in Plymouth have been issued with warnings for
failing to comply with the law.
The warnings follow an investigation in Plymouth by the Government's
Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate. Investigators found that 12 agencies
in Plymouth were breaking employment regulations. Between these twelve agencies,
inspectors found 68 infringements of the law. Many of these offences were
relatively minor, however the worst practices identified included:
* failing to inform workers sufficiently about the type work they would be
* agencies failing to confirm the identities of staff they were planning to
supply to employers
* risking workers safety by failing to ensure their awareness of health and
safety issues relevant to their assignments.
Employment Minister Pat McFadden said:
"There should be no hiding place for employment agencies that exploit workers
and flout the law.
"The Government has doubled the number of Employment Agency Standards
inspectors so that they can get out on the ground in places like Plymouth and
target the rule-breakers."
"Follow up investigations will take place in Plymouth to make sure that the
agencies concerned have changed their ways. Agencies that continue to flout the
law could be prosecuted, hit hard with fines or even banned from operating for
up to 10 years."
The Employment Agency Standards team acted in Plymouth following reports of
improper activity in agencies supplying a diverse range of staff - from
industrial workers and construction workers, to models and entertainers. The
Department for Business has also launched a campaign to raise awareness of the
Employment Agency Standards inspectorate, particularly among vulnerable agency
People can report employment agencies they suspect of breaking the law by
contacting the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate on 0845 955 5105 or
1. 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 agency conduct.
2. The inspectorate visited the Plymouth area in the week beginning 24
November, visiting 18 agencies in total.
3. Agencies who break the law could face prosecution and fines of up to
£5,000 per offence. Rogue agencies could also be banned from operating for up to
4. For legal reasons, Department for Business cannot name the agencies
warned, unless they are prosecuted or prohibited.
5. The Fair Employment Enforcement Board, which met for the first time on 5th
November, brings together government enforcement bodies, unions, business
leaders, and Citizens Advice to ensure effective enforcement of the law. The
Board will oversee a significant and sustained campaign to raise workers'
awareness of their basic employment rights. As a first phase, the EAS
inspectorate has begun a campaign to inform agency workers of their rights. An
information booklet is being distributed to vulnerable workers and advice
bodies, and is also available at: http://direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/Typesofworkoremployment/DG_10027514
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-12-03 16:15:37 in Employee Articles