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Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2007

Volume 696: debated on Tuesday 20 November 2007

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs (Pat McFadden) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government have laid the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2007 in Parliament for debate in the House of Commons and the Lords. These regulations amend the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.

These amending regulations make further provision for the proper conduct of employment agencies and employment businesses. They increase protection for work-seekers, reduce certain regulatory burdens on employment businesses and make minor clarifications to the 2003 regulations.

The Government published a consultation paper on protecting vulnerable agency workers at the beginning of the year. This consultation paper followed up the commitment to take forward measures identified in Success at Work, the Government’s 2006 labour market strategy paper.

Measures set out in the consultation document included giving work-seekers a clear right to withdraw from accommodation, transport or other services provided by an agency without suffering any detriment. They also included banning the taking of fees at casting sessions held by talent-spotting agencies, and possibly for up to a week afterwards, to give would-be entertainers and models the protection of a cooling-off period. We are now taking these proposed measures forward into legislation following widespread support from those who responded to the consultation paper.

We are also introducing a measure, proposed in the consultation paper, to ease administrative burdens on employment businesses, by reducing the information requirements where they provide workers for very short assignments, of less than five days’ duration.

In the consultation, the Government made clear their aim that amendments to the existing regulations should come into force in April 2008.