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REC comment on calls to extend the GLA to social care

REC comment on calls to extend the GLA to social care

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation is responding to a report from Oxfam entitled "Who Cares?" which looks at dealing with exploitation of workers in the care sector.

Anne Fairweather, the RECs Head of Public Policy, said "Boiling down a series of complex issues, which in virtually all cases involve breaches of the law, to a call for an extension of the licensing of recruitment agencies is missing the point. The REC is committed to an effective enforcement regime and agrees that while the existing regime is not perfect, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority is not a silver bullet which can solve every enforcement issue. If we are going to be serious about tackling issue of exploitation, in both the agency and directly employed sector, then we need to get to the root of the problem."

Peter Cullimore, Chair of the REC Nursing and Social Care Group which represents 300 agencies in the sector, said: "Social and domiciliary are agencies are highly regulated. In addition to the Conduct Regulations which govern all recruitment agencies, our members have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission and are regulated and inspected by them. Adding another layer to the inspection regime will simply add complexity and cost to legitimate businesses and would not necessary lead to better enforcement against those who break the rules. Care work can be very rewarding and we would encourage better funding to enable the workers in the sector to be better rewarded financially for their work."

Anne Fairweather concluded: "Initiatives such as the Pay and Work Rights helpline to make it easier for workers to report abuses in the workplace, are an example of a measure that could have a real impact. The REC also supports the extra resource which has been given to the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate. It is vital that those who exploit workers are caught and the REC will be considering how to further improve enforcement in our sector without adding complexity or costs on those operating correctly."

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