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London agencies lacking model behaviour

London agencies lacking model behaviour

The Government has put modelling and entertainment agencies in London under the spotlight. Nine agencies have been issued with warnings for failing to comply with the law.

This follows an investigation by the Government's Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate. Of the nine offending agencies, inspectors found 37 separate infringements of the law.

Many of these offences were relatively minor, but the worst practices identified included:

* charging illegal fees
* sub-standard accounting practices

Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:

""There are some agencies willing to exploit models and entertainers who think they've got the X-Factor but don't know their rights. This behaviour is unacceptable and agencies that flout the law should get their final curtain call.

"The Government has doubled the number of Employment Agency Standards inspectors so that they can get out on the ground and target the rule-breakers."

The Employment Agency Standards team acted in London following reports of improper activity in agencies supplying staff in the modelling and entertainment sectors. Follow up investigations will take place to make sure that the agencies concerned have acted to change their ways. Agencies that continue to disobey the law could be prosecuted, hit hard with fines or even banned from operating for up to 10 years.

The Government will shortly publish a consultation, which will seek views on any further steps that might be needed to protect models and entertainers.

These inspections come hot on the heels of a successful prosecution of an agent in the West Midlands, who withheld 3,500 from entertainers including comedian Tom O'Connor.
As economists predict unemployment is likely to hit 3million this year, more and more workers are growing increasingly concerned over the security of their jobs.


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