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TEMP RECRUITMENT AGENCIES GET CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH

TEMP RECRUITMENT AGENCIES GET CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH
 
News last week that the  Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate ( EAS) has only recovered 200,000 in unpaid wages for agency workers in the last twelve months, would appear to show that the vast majority of  temporary employees, contrary to some recently expressed views, are being treated  fairly. 
 
That is the view of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) which points out that in an industry which turns over roughly 20bn annually, 200,000 is an insignificant sum.
 
According to ARC Chairman Adrian Marlowe: Only a tiny handful of agencies have been prosecuted by the EAS and the sum recovered in unpaid wages is a minuscule sum compared with the overall UK agency wage bill. It amounts to the equivalent of 18 people working a 40 hour week at national minimum wage (circa 11,000 p.a.).
 
Marlowe argues that, assuming the EAS is doing its job thoroughly, the low recovery figure implies that either there are virtually no complaints, or that most of those investigated, are proven to be unfounded. This shows that the overwhelming majority of agencies are compliant and that the law is working well.
 
Marlowe believes that the current results indicate that the majority of temporary workers are not as vulnerable as the Government portrays. While the EASs statement implies that a substantial number of agency workers are vulnerable and need its protection, the reality is that there are some 1.2m agency workers  placed every year on legally compliant terms.  A report in November from the BIS showed that in the year 2008/9, a total of 1567 complaints were received, of which 1450 were cleared. Even if all complaints were justified and not cleared this would still only amount to 0.0013% of the agency workforce hardly a damming indictment of the recruitment industry! It is about time that the efforts of the vast majority of recruitment firms that are compliant and do treat their workers properly is recognised.

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