Response to 'Unite union claims job agencies exploiting apprenticeship levy rules'

Filed under Press release

Thursday, 06 February 2020


Today the Financial Times published an article entitled, 'Union claims job agencies exploiting apprenticeship levy rules'. It reports that the trade union Unite has accused employment agencies, particularly in the construction sector, of deducting money for the levy from workers' wages without their permission, which is unlawful.


In response, the REC's Chief Executive Neil Carberry said:

“Businesses shouldn’t expect workers to pay the apprenticeship levy costs. Employment businesses must also make sure that any umbrella companies or payroll providers they use are compliant.

“We welcome any efforts to increase transparency for agency workers around their pay. The introduction of the Key Information Document for agency workers from 6 April 2020 should help to do this. It is important that umbrella companies also provide a breakdown of deductions to agency workers’ pay.

“Agency workers’ rights must be protected effectively. We have consistently called for umbrella companies to be regulated and have been frustrated by the slow progress on extending the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to include them. This would provide a direct route for agency workers to report any non-compliant activity by an umbrella company, as they can with an employment business.

“All businesses should make sure that they only engage agency workers through an employment business which is fully compliant, bound by applicable legislation, and signed up to industry standards with clear routes for complaints, like the REC’s Code of Professional Practice.”


For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.


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