Web-based job agency fined £20,000 for trading illegally

A web-based recruitment agent has been ordered by Swansea Crown Court to pay in excess of £20,000 for running an illegal employment agency.

Adrian Farmer was found guilty of trading while prohibited by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Farmer had been using a website to attract potential victims, claiming he could find them jobs overseas. He then charged up to £124 a time to access job information, despite being banned in November 2003 from running an employment agency for 10 years.

Farmer was ordered to pay £20,387, including compensation to two workers, along with a fine of £2,500 for three charges of operating his employment agency while banned.

The action against Farmer was brought under the Employment Agencies Act 1973, which is designed to protect jobseekers who use the services of employment agencies to find work.

Jim Fitzpatrick, employment relations minister, said the government was committed to cracking down on rogue agents.

“This prosecution underlines our message to rogue agents that we will not hesitate to act against any agency that wrongly and wilfully ignores the law or rips off workers,” he said.

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