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A Busy Day At The REC!!

A Busy Day At The REC!!

Drivers response, Complaints and enhanced Government.

REC report highlights crackdown on members falling short of prescribed professional standards.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederations 2008 Annual Complaints Report highlights its continuous crackdown on member agencies found in non-compliance with its ten point Code of Practice.

During the year, the RECs Professional Standards Committee issued four Reprimands, seven Inspections four of which were for one agency, two Compliance Orders and in one instance expelled an agency from membership following revocation of its Gangmasters Licensing Authority licence.

Commenting on the Committees decisions, the RECs Chief Executive, Kevin Green, said: The action taken in these cases sends out a very clear message - that we will deal with those members accordingly who are found wanting in their delivery of the exemplary services demanded through our Code.

At the heart of our activities is our relentless work in raising standards within the recruitment industry and our Professional Standards Committee ensures that we can identify those members who are not performing to our optimum requirements.

Last year, the RECs Professional Standards Team handled 827 complaints and inquiries seven more than in 2007 with around 35 per cent of these being against members, nine per cent less than in the previous year. Another 14 per cent were against non-members while the other 51 per cent were general inquiries including misuse of REC logos and notifications of scams.

The team also started 22 formal investigations last year, two less than in 2007.
Last year, temporary workers were again the main group of complainants accounting for around 23 per cent of all queries compared to 30 per cent the previous year.

Most of the complaints centred on pay problems, terms of engagement, holiday pay entitlement, unprofessional conduct and more general comments about poor communication and customer service.
Queries from permanent candidates also decreased slightly from 21 per cent last year to 20 per cent in 2008.

Fola Tayo, the RECs Head of Professional Standards, said of the figures: The downward trend in the number of complaints against our members is very encouraging and demonstrates their commitment to providing a first-class service.

The introduction of inspections by our assessment team has provided a practical way of helping members uphold the regulations and this is an area of work we shall continue to expand this year.

Findings of the report included:
The greatest number of complaints came from the London region with 42 per cent of the total received. However, around a quarter of all members are located within this area. Next was the South East region with eight per cent which was more than a four per cent decrease on 2007. Lowest levels were recorded in Northern Ireland with one per cent followed by Wales with two per cent.
Nine per cent of the total number of complaints related to sector groups again a fall on the previous year which stood at 11 per cent. Most related to the Technology Sector with 24 complaints, six lower than in 2007.
Most of the complaints received in the Technology Sector related to problems with unsolicited mail, poaching, contractual issues, payment and harassment.
Next was the Drivers Sector which recorded 11 complaints most in relation to unprofessional conduct. The Education Sector was next with most of the nine complaints arising from difficulties with the portability of Criminal Records Bureau checks.

REC response to Government investigation into drivers agencies in the West Midlands

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has warned 18 recruitment agencies supplying drivers in the West Midlands that they are not up to scratch.

Commenting on the investigation Andrew Horner, Chair of the REC Drivers Group said: "Some offences, such as failing to confirm the identity of drivers are very serious. REC Drivers members work hard to ensure that they supply their clients and workers alike with a high quality service. The actions of agencies who do not comply within the law simply undercut those agencies operating within the rules, at the expense of Drivers' rights and potentially the safety of the public. We are pleased to see that the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate is rooting out non-compliant agencies."

REC Drivers members should all comply with the law and Code of Professional Practice. BIS will not reveal the names of those agencies whose actions have been found wanting and so REC is not aware if their investigation affected members of the Drivers group.

However, Andrew Horner continued: "We would encourage workers and clients of agencies alike to raise any concerns they have about our members through our standards procedure. We are keen to uphold our Code of Professional Practice and will investigate any evidence presented to us very thoroughly."

REC welcomes enhanced Government department

The Government has announced the creation of the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, created through a merger of BERR (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and DIUS (Innovation, Universities and Skills).
Its main role will be to build the UKs capabilities to compete in the global economy and create the jobs of the future.
Commenting on the merger, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says: "There is real merit in integrating skills and innovation with the business agenda. The feedback from recruitment professionals confirms that, even in the current climate, a number of sectors continue to experience a shortage of skilled workers. It is crucial that this new department ensures we have a qualified and trained workforce geared to the needs of a 21st century market economy.

We are pleased that Pat McFadden remains as employment relations minister at this critical time for the recruitment industry with the Government deciding how it intends to implement the Agency Workers Directive.


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