Are you confident in your compliance with the Conduct Regulations?
What are the Conduct Regulations?
They are the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003. It is a bit of a mouthful so often shortened to the Conduct Regulations. They can also be referred to as the Agency Conduct Regulations or the EAA Regulations, because they flow from the Employment Agencies Act of 1973.
In short, they are regulations which govern key aspects of how recruitment businesses operate. This includes when contracts and other documents need to be in place, information that needs to be gathered from hirers and candidates, job adverts, records, and what recruiters can and cannot do, including transfer fees and payments to candidates.
Key elements of the Conduct Regulations
- Key information documents (KID) at the start of the relationship
- Contracts with candidates and what they must include
- Information from a hirer regarding a role
- Suitability checks and information from candidates
- Restrictions on withholding payments, detrimental action, and supplying to cover industrial action
- Adverts, including contents and advertising outside of the EEA
- Confidentiality and record keeping
What is a KID?
A KID is a document that should be issued to every new work seeker registered with an employment business. The document is in a prescribed form, setting out information relating to who will pay them, along with examples and other information. It is one of the key areas of non-compliance highlighted by the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) inspectors, so it is important to get it right.
Who do the Conduct Regulations apply to?
The Conduct Regulations cover employment agencies and employment businesses, so should apply whether you are a perm/direct recruiter or involved in temporary supply. However, a work seeker operating through a company may have the option to opt-out of some of the requirements, if their role does not involve working with or caring for vulnerable persons.
What are the implications of non-compliance?
The Conduct Regulations are enforced by the EAS, who carries out routine inspections and investigates complaints. Inspection levels are increasing, and the EAS has the power to fine, or prosecute, with penalties in the most serious cases including prohibiting persons from operating as an employment agency or employment business for up to 10 years. This is not the only consequence, a failure to comply with the Conduct Regulations, could be a breach of contract, could adversely impact upon client and candidate relationship, be damaging to your reputation, and lead to transfer fees and other clauses being unenforceable.
The Conduct Regulations are a lot more extensive than the common questions we’ve answered above. We have some great resources that can help, such as, our downloadable webinar on Conduct Regulations, and the Recruiter’s Bible – a manual on the EAA Conduct Regulations – If you need further information, advice, or wish to have your own copy of the Recruiter’s Bible, please contact us using the form below.
Theresa Mimnagh, Director LLB qualified as a solicitor* in February 2004 and previously worked in private practice as an employment lawyer. She joined Lawspeed in 2005 and leads Lawspeed’s client support and audit team.
Her specialisations are in employment law, recruitment law, employment status, IR35 and agency tax, data protection (GDPR), and employment contracts and policies. She leads our team of IR35 lawyers and is responsible for updating our contracts under our contract maintenance scheme. She also heads the employment law team and excels in supporting clients in employment related disputes.
Theresa also is our lead in training on key areas relevant to employment business, including IR35 and recruitment process, and was responsible for delivery of our 2019 programme of IR35 masterclasses and 2023 webinar series.