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Hays Considering OFT Appeal

Hays Considering OFT Appeal

Responding to the Office of Fair Tradings decision finding that Hays' Construction & Property business in the UK had breached competition law in the period October 2004 to November 2005, along with a number of other construction recruitment companies, the company said.

Hays has co-operated fully with the OFT in its investigation under the leniency regime and has been fined GBP30.36 million. This decision represents the outcome of previously reported proceedings which began in June 2006.

Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays, commented: "We take the findings of the OFT investigation seriously. However, it is important to recognise that the OFT's investigation related to an isolated matter arising from the conduct of a single employee who is no longer with the company and affected only a small part of our UK Construction & Property business. At all times Hays has independently determined the price and terms on which it has dealt with its customers and at no stage did the matters investigated by the OFT affect Hays' dealings with its clients.

Since the start of the investigation in 2006, Hays has co-operated fully with the OFT in all aspects of its investigation. The Board has taken appropriate steps to strengthen Group compliance and training in this area and has developed and implemented a detailed training programme for all key employees which is repeated at regular intervals.

Hays believes that the level of the fine is wholly disproportionate with the activities to which it relates, Hays' involvement in those activities and the way in which the OFT has dealt with other cases in the past. The Group is actively considering an appeal."

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