Firms welcome temps proposals

More than half of UK firms would use proposed regulations allowing them to opt out of paying fees to recruitment consultancies when temporary staff are recruited to permanent jobs.

The DTI’s draft Employment Agencies Act, published this week, is likely to propose that firms no longer need pay fees provided there is a four-week quarantine period between quitting the agency and joining the employer.

A MORI survey of 281 UK companies, commissioned by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, reveals that 54 per cent would use the proposed regulations to avoid paying fees.

If the quarantine period were introduced, a temp wanted as a permanent employee by the firm where they had been working would quit, returning as a member of staff four weeks later. In this case no fee would go to the recruitment consultancy.

Tim Nicholson, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which represents the UK’s private recruitment industry, will oppose plans to introduce a four-week quarantine period.

He said, “Losing someone for four weeks is not a serious disincentive for a business if they want to employ them permanently.

“We have made a lot of people aware that the four-week quarantine proposal is a direct threat to the legitimate commercial interests of a very important industry. One million people are employed as temporary workers and about 500,000 find a permanent job every year.”

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