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UK – Recruiters respond to government staffing consultation

11 April 2013

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has today responded to the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS) consultation on the Conduct Regulations. The government launched the consultation to gather responses on reforming the staffing industry.

The response draws on feedback from engagement with REC members, offering the government a detailed roadmap to create a streamlined and more effective regulatory framework for the recruitment industry.

The REC argues that the new regulations must:

•             Avoid the unintended consequences of adding red tape and uncertainty, for example through an ill-defined ‘reasonable’ test for temp-to-perm fees and prescribing what information companies should display on their website.

•             Ensure that enforcement activities are refocused rather than removed. Getting rid of the current inspectorate would be a retrograde step and could jeopardise both workers and compliant businesses.

•             Reflect the reality of the current recruitment market by providing a clear definition of intermediaries, such as umbrella organisations and vendor providers, to offer greater clarity on who is responsible for paying temporary workers.

•             Provide a clear definition of who is covered by the regulations. This is especially important if there is no longer an opt-out for limited company contractors.

•             Include specific measures for agencies working with children and vulnerable adults.

•             Confirm the principle that agencies should not charge job seekers for job seeking services.

“REC members have given clear directions on how to respond to this consultation and we will continue to take their messages forward in our discussions with BIS and the Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson,” said Tom Hadley from the REC.

“Recruiters have worked hard to accommodate changes brought in via AWR and pensions reforms and our aim now is to ensure that we have the best possible regulatory framework for the recruitment industry to grow and for compliant agencies to thrive.”

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