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Recruitment ban to be placed on employment agencies and employment businesses

Regulation to restrict recruitment exclusively outside of Great Britain

In July 2014 the government launched a consultation into proposals to prohibit employment agencies and employment businesses from advertising vacancies for British roles, exclusively in EU countries and not advertising them at all in Great Britain. The results of the consultation have just been published and will result in additional regulations.

The Law 

Employment agencies and employment businesses are regulated by the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003,

The Facts

Under the current regulations there is no restriction upon where vacancies can be advertised by agencies and employment businesses acting on behalf of British employers.

Concern has been raised that vacancies are being advertised solely outside of Great Britain and therefore taking potential opportunities from British residents. The consultation looked at levelling the field for home job seekers.

The Decision

The outcome of the consultation is that the government intends to proceed with its proposal to ban employment agencies and employment businesses from advertising vacancies exclusively in other EEA countries.

A set of draft Regulations have been drawn up, which will insert a new regulation 27A into the existing Conduct Regulations which will prohibit an agency from advertising a home vacancy in a European country unless one of the following conditions applies:

  • It is advertised in GB (in the English language) at the same time; or
  • It has previously advertised the vacancy for at least 28 days in GB.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the intended start date for the new regulation is the 31 December 2014.

Points to Note

A breach of the regulation will constitute a criminal offence and/or an order can be made preventing a person from running an agency or employment business.

The restriction will not apply if the job role is actually working for the agency or employment business.

The restriction applies to agencies and employment businesses that are based in Great Britain. Therefore there is nothing to stop a British Company from employing an agency in France to exclusively advertise outside of GB for a vacancy which is intended to be carried out in Great Britain.

Currently there is a fairly complex regime of regulation on agencies and employment businesses. The government plan to consult further on reform of this sector in order to make the regulations much simpler, so watch this space for further developments.

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The information contained in this blog post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time it is written. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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