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Warning From de Poel

Warning From de Poel

Number one procurer of temporary agency labour de Poel says ISA checks may hinder work placements in the care sector

The UKs number one procurer of temporary agency labour de Poel, has expressed fears that a new vetting and baring scheme could hinder work placements within the care sector.

de Poel, who manage the supply of temporary agency workers for six UK care organisations, say that the new scheme launched by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) may discourage employers from taking on or replacing staff for fear of a heavy administrative burden or prosecution.

The scheme, which is due to take effect from October 12, will compel individuals working with children and vulnerable adults to register with the ISA at a cost of 64 per person.

With fines of 5000 or imprisonment for those who employ an unregistered person, the stakes are high for employers who fail to implement the directive effectively.

Chief Executive of de Poel, Matthew Sanders, said: We have no doubt that the scheme has been introduced with the best intentions, but we are concerned about the effects this might have on recruitment among care organisations.

With a limited amount of time, resources and funding, they may find it difficult to keep on top of the system, and subsequently be deterred from taking on new workers unless it is absolutely necessary.

Luckily for our clients, this process can be outsourced to their panel agencies, who are audited, monitored and required to operate within formal terms of business.

Additionally important, say de Poel, will be the effects on prospective care workers, who may be deterred from applying for work for fear of discrimination and subsequent exclusion from working with children or vulnerable adults.

By intensifying staffing shortages in an industry which is already suffering from a lack of skilled workers, the new directive could leave employers at risk of non-compliance, especially those who use agencies.
According to the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), it is during times of acute staff shortages when agencies tend to cut corners in the recruitment process by not carrying out the necessary checks on a new worker.

The good news for the sector is that de Poel can help organisations using temporary agency labour by ensuring panel agencies adhere to legislation.
Anne Fairweather, Head of Public Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation suggested that problems could be alleviated if recruitment agencies were given more guidance.

She said: With only weeks to go until the launch of the scheme there is still not enough guidance for agencies which could put at risk the placements of hundreds of thousands of key frontline staff.

The recruitment sector will be on the front line, trying to make this scheme work day in, day out and clear guidelines are needed."

de Poel can provide guidance on the new directive for care organisations and their panel agencies through a focus group they have established to monitor the implementation of ISA checks.

In response to the issues raised, the Home Office has emphasized that employers wont have to carry out repeated checks to find out if any of their employees pose a risk to children and vulnerable adults, since ISA registration is for life.

A Home Office spokesperson also commented: People working in the care sector have a particular responsibility when dealing with vulnerable people.
Trust is an important element to this sector and in order to help prevent abuse, the vetting and barring scheme will offer reassurance to the families and the individuals are require care.

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