Clarke employment law partner Victoria Parry looks at the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003. They are important for all those dealing with recruitment agencies.
April 6th 2004 was an important day for to reasons: The first is that it was 30 years since ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest. The second was that "The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003" ("The Regulations") came into force. Any one who uses recruitment consultants/employment agencies will realise that the law in this area needed simplifying and clarifying and the purpose of the Regulations is to do just that.
Some of the key changes are as follows:
· If you, the Company agree to use the services of an employment agency then terms must be set out and agreed upfront
· Before an employment agency proposes a work seeker to the Company it must ensure that the work seeker is suitable . This means that the employment agency is going to need to do some background checks by finding out information about the position advertised and marry it with the work seeker's experience and training
· You, the Company have a right to be informed by the employment agency if they find out some information about the work seeker that would mean that they are unsuitable for the proposed role
· The basis on which the worker is taken on by the employment agency must be clear. In some cases employment agencies may go all the way and actually employ the people on their books. In most cases the employment agency will simply have a contract of service with the worker which expressly states that the worker is self employed. Either of these options is helpful to you as the Company in relation to the worker as it reduces the risk that the worker can claim that they are your employee.
· An employment agency cannot restrict the work seeker from going to work for you the Company if the contract between the agency and the worker is terminated. This is important because it is very common for companies being prevented from taking on the worker directly, where the worker is being supplied via an employment agency. The only exception to this is if the employment agency has actually taken the unusual steps of employing the worker in question.
If you do use employment agencies to provide temporary workers or regularly use recruitment consultants then now is your opportunity to renegotiate the terms and conditions of supply in this area.