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UK — EAS publishes new targets for 2010/11

12 March 2010

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS), the government body which regulates employment agencies, has published achievements in the last year as well as new targets to ensure that vulnerable agency workers get better protection after meeting or exceeding nearly all of its previous goals.

New figures published reveal that since April the EAS has won back nearly 200,000 Pounds in unpaid wages for agency workers. This is treble the amount clawed back in the previous year.

The underlying targets agreed by EAS for 2010/11 include pledges to complete 80% of investigations within six weeks of receiving a complaint (up from 75% which was exceeded); and submit 95% of papers for potential prosecutions to Head Office within two months of legal advice (up from 90% which was met).

Employment Relations Minister, Lord Young, said "EAS has achieved some notable successes, recovering more money than ever for agency workers and increasing awareness of their work amongst employers as well as employees. I am confident they can build on this success."

Publication of the targets coincides with the latest meeting of the Fair Employment Enforcement Board (FEEB) which brings together Government, business groups, unions and Citizens Advice to ensure effective enforcement of the law.

The Board's work is based on raising awareness among vulnerable workers of their employment rights, simplifying access to the enforcement of those rights, and greater joint working between the enforcement agencies.
Since first meeting in October 2008, 18 months ago, FEEB has overseen:
  • The launch of a single enforcement 'Pay and Work Rights' helpline to report cases of mistreatment.
  • A significant and sustained campaign to raise workers’ awareness of their basic employment rights.
  • A campaign by the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS) to inform agency workers of their rights.
  • the latest round of the Union Modernisation Fund focused on projects for unions to improve their ability to help vulnerable workers.

Anne Fairweather, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Head of Public Policy, said "the REC has consistently called for the effective enforcement of current regulations to address the activities of rogue providers who undercut legitimate agencies. We welcome the fact that EAS is having an impact and we will continue to build links with the REC's own assessment officers."


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