Recruitment agency boss banned for seven years for withholding wages

The director of a recruitment firm supplying rail workers has been banned from running an employment agency for seven years after she unlawfully withheld more than £11,000 in wages.

The ruling by Norwich Employment Tribunal followed an investigation by the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, under the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

The Tribunal heard how Christine Lewiss, from Trimmingham near Norwich, withheld wages from workers totalling more than £11,000. The offences were committed by two companies she operated, Rail Recruit UK Ltd and Rail Recruit UK Projects Ltd.

EAS brought the case having successfully prosecuted Lewiss in June 2009 at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. This resulted in her being ordered to pay back withheld wages as well as £1,000 costs.

Employment minister Edward Davey said the verdict should act as a warning signal to agencies who exploit their workers.

“We will take action against rogue recruiters in Norfolk – and across the country – who flout the law and undermine the vast majority of agencies who play fairly,” he added.

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