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International Recruitment Agencies and the Agency Workers Directive


Both Domestic and International Recruitment Agencies and their legal advisor’s are locked in discussions on how to interpret the belatedly issued guidance notes released by the government on the afternoon of April 1st 2011.

In a straw poll taken amongst Agency bosses the fear is that many agencies and hirers will not be ready in time for 1 October.

When asked to hazard a guess of how many agencies had an effective plan one boss commented the top 5% and perhaps 20% of the others. Another Managing Director estimated less than a third. It is believed that professional bodies such as the ALP are concerned and are putting on educational roadshows but these will take place before anybody know the precise rules.

Consensus on the interpretation does not exist at present and two MD’s were debating the legal over the moral interpretation and it does seem likely that the legislation with finalised guidance notes could create a minefield that will only be sorted out by the courts in due course.

Of course the business lawyers are rubbing their hands whilst being circumspect, with all advice shrouded by caveats leaving the commercial interpretation open to the clients.

There are some organisations that are well ahead of the game pulling together the recruitment skills, with legal advice and having software in the background designed to cope with the requirements of the Agency Workers Directive but even they are still in no mans land until the guidance notes are finalised.

Interested parties have less than a week to respond and most domestic and international recruitment agencies are leaving it to their trade bodies to represent their interests.

Privately nobody is welcoming the legislation regarding it as a hammer to crack a nut.

 

Author: Chris Slay

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