Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

The low down on Employment Agency Standards (EAS) inspections of recruitment businesses

The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) is a section of the Department of Business and Trade.

It handles enforcing compliance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 (Conduct Regulations), and has extensive powers to ensure recruitment businesses operate within the law. It is currently increasing its inspections of recruitment businesses, so here are some points to note.

As the industry regulator, the EAS conducts inspections as a matter of course. This is usually done by selecting a particular sector or geographical area. However, it also wants to investigate complaints. Either way, it is entitled to do so, so never ignore it unless you want to raise a red flag; the best thing to do is cooperate. The EAS enforces the Conduct Regulations, which are designed to protect agency workers. On inspection the EAS will be looking for evidence of compliance in areas such as provision of Key Information Documents, contracts with candidates, correct payments to candidates (where applicable) and advertising.

Its general approach is to work with the recruiter to address any non-compliant areas. However, where there is a complaint, or there are serious problem areas, it is likely to set out those areas in a letter and require them to be addressed within a set period of time. Provided the issues are appropriately addressed there should be no further difficulties. However, in the most serious cases, the EAS can take legal action to impose fines. In extreme cases, they can have directors of a non-compliant business disbarred from acting as a director.

The golden rule is to get your compliance processes right in the first place. This will help you avoid any EAS action but should also protect your fees.

Compliance requires having the right documents and procedures lined up and ready to go. Lawspeed is dedicated to providing our clients with top-tier support to maximize the value of their business-winning efforts.

We offer instant guidance with our Conduct Regulations Manual and Conduct Regulations Webinar.

Whether you’d like a chat to see if we can help or you recognise that having the best documents and processes will get you ahead, give us a call on 01273 236236.