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Supply of agency workers to perform striking staff duties falls foul of regs

Supply of agency workers to perform striking staff duties falls foul of regs
 
With public sector walkouts planned by teachers unions and Unison staff, recruiters and agencies are warned to take care as statutory regulations prohibit the supply of temporary workers to cover work or services affected by industrial action. 
 
Heather Stanford, an associate in the Dispute Resolution team at East Midlands' law firm Nelsons, explains: The Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations 2003 prevents an employment business from introducing or supplying a worker to perform the duties normally performed by staff who are taking part in a strike or other industrial action. Being found in violation of the regulations is a very serious matter as its a criminal offence and can give rise to criminal penalties for directors acting in breach.
 
The Department for Business and Innovation Skills (BIS) is the investigative and prosecuting authority which enforces these provisions.  Enforcement is usually precursored by investigations and attendance at business premises to search files and computer records for evidence.
 
If anyone gets a call to warn them of a BIS investigation, says Heather, it is imperative that they get immediate specialist regulatory legal advice. These sorts of prosecutions are very rare, but given that we are probably faced with a summer of industrial action, the like of which we have not seen since the 80s, anyone approached to provide workers to undertake the services being suspended due to industrial action should take extreme care.

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