New restriction on advertising vacancies overseas

The Department of BIS has announced a proposal for a new regulation to prevent recruiters from advertising vacancies within the EEA unless they have also been advertised in English in Great Britain.

The new regulation would be included within the revised Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (“Conduct Regs”) and would not apply to adverts in non EEA countries, as advertising restrictions already exist. There will be an exception for advertising which is allowed to be nationality specific under discrimination laws, however generally the position will be that jobs in Great Britain can only be advertised within the EEA if also advertised in Great Britain.

For many recruiters the change may have minimal impact, as roles are advertised in the UK in any event. However for recruiters who specifically target other EEA countries, the new requirement and additional costs that it may bring could have a significant impact. It should also be noted that the new regulation will apply only to recruiters, so whilst the stated aim of the change is to create a level playing field for workers, the burden placed on recruiters will be greater than that on ordinary employers or hirers.

As the regulation will apply to employment agencies and employment businesses, it may also reopen the debate as to whether job boards are in fact employment agencies and therefore required to comply. This is however a matter being addressed in the wider debate of reform of the Conduct Regs.

The new regulation at this stage is only a proposal and is open for consultation for 12 weeks until the 2nd September 2014. There is no stated date for its implementation; however it would be reasonable to expect the new regulation to form part of the wider reform of the Conduct Regs, the consultation on which is due to be published in the autumn.

If you are interested in this area, have any views on this subject or require assistance with any aspect of the Conduct Regs or compliance, contact Lawspeed on  01273 236 236.

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