Between the 13 October and 23 November 2015 the Government consulted on proposed reforms to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (the ‘Conduct Regulations’).
The Government response to the consultation was published on 25 February. I can now confirm that the changes have had Parliamentary agreement and will come into force on the 8 May 2016.
The specific changes that are being made to the Conduct Regulations are as follows:
(a) Remove regulation 9 which currently prevents agencies and businesses from claiming to be acting on one basis to the work-seeker, while stating the alternative to the hirer.
(b) Remove regulation 11 which prevents agencies and businesses from entering into a contract with a hirer on behalf of a worker and vice versa, except where an agency has authority and is permitted to charge fees for finding work.
(c) Remove regulation 17, the requirement for employment businesses to obtain agreement to terms with hirers.
(d) Amend regulation 23 to remove provisions which require an employment agency/business to ascertain that any other employment agency/business they enter into a contract with is suitable to act in that capacity, and the requirement to agree in what capacity each of them will act.
(e) Amend regulation 27A so that the existing prohibition relating to advertising specific jobs in other European Economic Area (EEA) countries extends to generic recruitment campaigns.
(f) Amend Schedule 4 to remove the requirement to include certain particulars in their records relating to work-seekers. These will no longer need to include the date the application was received, details of any requirements specified by the work-seeker in relation to taking up employment, and the date the application was withdrawn or contract terminated.
(g) Amend Schedule 5 to remove the requirements to include certain particulars in their records relating to the hirer. These will no longer need to include date application received, hirer’s name and address and location of employment if different, terms offered in respect of the position the hirer seeks to fill, copy of the terms between the employment agency/business and the hirer and any document recording any variations, names of work-seekers introduced or supplied and details of each resulting engagement and date from which it takes effect.
(h) Remove Schedule 6 which will remove the requirement to keep particulars relating to any other employment agency or business.
Following concerns raised by the majority of respondents regarding the negative impact of the removal of regulation relating to the information that should be included in job advertisements made by employment agencies and businesses (regulation 27), the Government has decided to retain that regulation, to ensure sufficient protections remain in place for work-seekers.
The protections which will be retained include those related to clarity around who is responsible for paying work-seekers, ensuring they are paid for all the hours they work and preventing them from being charged for work-finding services. The amendments to the regulations can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/510/contents/made The consultation document and Government response can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/recruitment-sector-changes-to-the-regulatory-framework-including-stopping-eea-only-recruitment