Recruitment agencies – ban them, please!!

I’m willing to bet that not one in a hundred people in this country today could tell you that Pat McFadden is Employment Relations Minister or that he as recently as last year said that the government intended the UK “to be a dynamic, enterprising, open, risk-taking economy, where employees have the chance to make the most of their working lives”.  

One cannot help but think tha some  pronouncements from him tell a different story.  They do suggest that through too many hours spent talking to all the wrong people have skewed his thinking how employment agencies treat workers.

Tuesday 17 March 2009 12:42
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform  (National)Recession no excuse to mistreat vulnerable workers
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden today warned employment agencies against using the recession as an excuse to mistreat vulnerable workers.

During a visit to hospitality recruitment specialists Admiral Group, Pat McFadden said:
“The vast majority of agencies are working very hard to treat people fairly. I have seen at first hand today an agency that treats its clients and candidates with respect.

“But there are some employment agencies who are short changing their staff and not playing by the rules. We will not allow rogue employers to use the downturn as an excuse to cut corners and deprive staff of their rights at work – or undercut other businesses that are doing the right thing. The recession is no excuse to mistreat vulnerable workers.”

“Our call for fairness is backed up by action. Our £1.25million campaign to help agency workers know their rights and help employers know their responsibilities is already paying dividends. The number of calls to the Employment Agency standards helpline has tripled in recent weeks and the website has had 57,000 hits since the launch of the campaign.”

If he still thinks the majority of agencies treat candidates with respect, he has, I’m convinced, never have sat for beside the phone waiting for a promised call, never been told that that if he doesn’t like the terms of proposed employment “there are plenty more out there that will”, never been made promises of weeks of work that have turned out to be days and sometimes hours, never been conned into taking a job because there was “a very good chance of it being full-time eventually” only to find later that that “chance” never existed.  

It’s time that Mr McFadden did some serious work on finding out what really happens when a candidate signs up with recruitment agencies. The truth is that while may fall short of breaking the rules, and while they may indeed treat the (fee-paying) clients very well, they, in my experience, treat candidates as if they were beggars to be fed morsels. It’s been a whild since I had the misfortune to deal with a recruitment agent or agency,  I can only presume that the recession has made things worse than they were when I did.


If interested in UK agency worker law, Wikipedia is as good a place as any to start.

Lest we think that the UK is the only place in which recruitment agencies have a bad name, read I hate recruitment agencies-aagghhh.


One Response to “Recruitment agencies – ban them, please!!”

  1. Is this fair treatment? « Kevin Cryan online Says:

    […] here I was thinking that were dealing with a government might have the courage to  take on recruitment agencies which treated jobseekers badly. Fat chance of […]

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