Government team roots out rogue recruiters
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23 Dec 2008 11:48
Rogue employment agencies that exploit workers are being rooted out by the
Government's Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate
Among the most notable achievements of 2007/8, outlined in an annual report
published today, were:
* Banning an agency owner in Stoke on Trent whose employee had fallen asleep
at the wheel and killed a cyclist due to driving for excessive hours.
* Ensuring that an airport worker at Heathrow received over £1,000 that their
agency had wrongly withheld
* Stopping a convicted rapist in Gloucestershire from running an agency
Employment Minister Pat McFadden said:
"The vast majority of employment agencies uphold the law. At a difficult time
for all businesses, we certainly don't want to see them undercut by those who
don't play by the rules.
"I'm pleased at the success of the inspectorate in cracking down on agencies
that flout the law and protecting vulnerable workers, but there is still more to
do. Now that the team has doubled in size and has extended investigative powers,
I look forward to them ensuring the law is obeyed."
In the year 2007-08, the inspectorate:
* recovered over £26,000 of workers' wages that were illegally withheld
* received over 1,200 complaints of improper agency conduct, finding over
1,100 infringements of the law
* prosecuted two agencies for breaches of employment agency legislation
* prohibited five individuals from being involved in the running of an agency
The team's most recent activity focused on agencies that supply workers to
the construction industry. Of 52 agencies inspected across the country, 40 were
found to be breaking regulations, with a total number of 192 separate
infringements. Most of these offences were relatively minor, however the worst
practices identified included:
* failing to inform workers sufficiently about the type work they would be
* risking workers safety by failing to ensure their awareness of health and
safety issues relevant to their assignments.
More details of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate's work are
outlined in the Annual Report.
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 Annual Report for 2007/8 will be available from 24 December 2008 via
our website at
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. Investigations into the construction sector took place across the country
in December 2008. Using locally sourced intelligence, together with information
previously provided by unions working in the construction sector, 52 agencies
were identified and inspected to establish compliance with the Employment
Agencies Act 1976 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment
Businesses Regulations 2003.
5. For legal reasons, Department for Business cannot name the agencies
warned, unless they are prosecuted or prohibited.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-12-23 13:55:05 in Business Articles