Conduct Regulations Review – Driving the industry’s response to government

Filed under Blog

Thursday, 07 February 2013

Released on 7 February 2013

With the Conduct Regulations consultation now up and running, we are seeking practical input from REC members to drive our formal response to government.  Member feedback has informed our initial discussion with BIS officials and we will be using next week’s webinar (February 12th from 1pm to 2pm) to outline the key proposals and get your input.

BIS has highlighted four overriding outcomes that it would like the review to achieve:

1. Reinforce the principle that employment businesses and agencies are restricted from charging fees to work-seekers.
2. Increase clarity on who is responsible for paying temporary workers for the work they have done.
3. Ensure that contracts between workers and recruitment firms do not hinder their movement between jobs and that temp-to-perm transfer fees are reasonable.
4. Ensure that work-seekers have the confidence to use the recruitment sector and are able to assert their rights.

So how could these four desired outcomes impact on the industry? Our initial assessment is that the consultation contains some common sense proposals and that there are opportunities to streamline unnecessary bureaucracy on agencies.  BIS are right to re-enforce the rules that protect workers and ensure they know their rights as this mirrors the REC Code of Professional Practice.

However, a number of proposals need to be carefully thought through as they risk creating new problems rather than solve existing ones. This is particularly true of the ‘reasonableness test’ for temp to perm fees. Another major concern is the drive to move enforcement away from government inspections to a greater reliance on employment tribunals. The BIS consultation also needs to recognise that the environment surrounding the way that temporary workers are supplied has changed significantly. A key area to look at here is the role of umbrella companies which didn’t exist when the current legislation was enacted in 1973.

We have been arguing for less bureaucracy and a more modern set of regulations for our industry for a long time and welcome the consultation. The priority now is to remain on the front foot in order to deliver the best possible outcome for the industry and to push back on some of the potentially damaging proposals.

Get involved

On 12 February between 1-2pm I will be hosting a webinar to provide an overview of the consultation and to gauge member views.  Over the coming weeks, we will also be using regional and sector group meetings to drive input as well as member surveys and further webinars.

To register for our webinar on February 12th go to the events section on the REC website.

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Contact: Ed Sexton

Phone: 020 7009 2192

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