Commenting on the consultation on reforming the regulatory framework for employment agencies and employment businesses published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last week, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s chief executive Kevin Green says:

“We have been arguing for less bureaucracy and a more modern set of regulations for our industry for a long time, so this long-awaited official consultation from the government is very welcome.

“From our initial reading it contains some common sense proposals, some whose consequences need to be carefully thought through and, unfortunately, some that seem to create new problems rather than solve existing ones.

“Re-enforcing rules that protect workers from fees and ensure they know their rights are entirely appropriate and mirror what we already require of our paying members through our code of practice. Whereas changes to the wording around temp-to-perm transfer fees and a drive to move the onus of enforcement away from government inspections to a greater reliance on employment tribunals, if implemented, would cause real issues for the industry. To create a new fit for purpose regulatory framework the Government must recognise that the environment under which temporary workers are supplied has changed significantly since the current legislation was enacted. For example it is imperative that the role of umbrella companies, which didn’t exist when the current legislation was enacted, is addressed in this exercise.

“We have been in regular dialogue with senior BIS officials on the issues for recruiters and flagged these up with the Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson at our last meeting. We will be seeking input from our members over the next few weeks through regional and sector group meetings and specific webinars. Rest assured we will ensure that the industry’s views continue to be taken forward to the highest levels of government”.