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Recruitment Sector Regulations (Reform)

Volume 570: debated on Monday 4 November 2013

On 12 July 2013, following a public consultation, the Government announced their intention to reform the regulatory framework for the recruitment sector. We intend to replace the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the conduct of employment agencies and employment businesses regulations 2003 with a simplified regulatory framework which will continue to protect people who are looking for work but which will remove some of the burden from business.

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to review regularly the enforcement of the national minimum wage, we also announced a more targeted enforcement strategy for the recruitment sector, focusing on protecting the most vulnerable, low-paid workers. We are now announcing that, from today, resources from the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) which is currently situated within BIS, will move to HM Revenue and Customs’ national minimum wage (NMW) team. They will form a new HMRC team and will focus mainly on enforcing non-payment of national minimum wage in the recruitment sector. By increasing HMRC’s NMW team we will ensure that the most vulnerable workers are protected and we will create a level playing field for the vast majority of agencies who play by the rules.

A small team will remain in BIS to enforce the recruitment sector regulations. Complaints will continue to be prioritised using a risk-based approach and the level of resourcing will be kept under review. The pay and work rights helpline will continue to be the first point of contact for individuals seeking help and advice.