5 Laws Anyone Working in Recruitment Should Know

Working in recruitment can be incredibly satisfying, especially when you find the perfect person for a job you are advertising. However, it also has the potential to be rather difficult too.

Understand the fundamental legislation relating to recruitment to avoid any lawsuits or court cases

1. You mustn’t advertise a job without the full details of the position

If candidates are forced into performing a task or duty at work they didn’t agree to in the first place, they will have grounds to make a complaint. This law also means that you must make sure the client has definitely said they are looking for someone to fill their vacant position.

Any job positions you advertise must:

  • Include the full name of your agency or recruitment company
  • Disclose whether the job is temporary or permanent
  • Be advertised in Great Britain and in English

For job advertisements that include the rate of pay, you must also include:

  • The nature of the job and what it entails
  • The job/business location
  • Minimum experience levels required
  • Details of any further training or tuition needed to fulfil the role

2. You must keep records on the work-seekers and hirers you do business with

For work-seekers that you take action for, you must keep the following records:

  • The date of their application
  • Their name, address, and if under 22, date of birth
  • Any terms which or will apply between you and them as well as any document that changes this agreement
  • Details of their training, experience, qualifications and authorisation to perform certain types of work
  • Details of requirements specified by them
  • Details of enquiries by them and the position in question
  • The name of the client your work-seeker is introduced to and any subsequent interactions
  • A copy of the contract between your client and the work-seeker
  • The date of any withdrawn application or terminated contract

If you charge a fee to work-seekers, you should also keep up-to-date financial records, which can include invoices, requests, receipts, and payments.

As for client information, this will include:

  • The date of their application
  • Their name, address, and location of employment
  • Any terms which or will apply between you and them as well as any document that changes this agreement
  • Details of the position(s), including duration of work
  • Required experience, training, ability, qualifications, and authorisation
  • The terms of the position(s)
  • Names of the work-seekers you introduced
  • Details of any enquiries made by them and any subsequent engagement
  • Details of requests for fees or other payment, which includes invoices and statements

3. Ensure workers aren’t forced to work longer than 48 hours per week

Also called the “working time directive” or “working time regulations,” this law states that employees cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average, normally averaged over 17 weeks. Those under 18 cannot work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week either.

However, there are exceptions to the rule if your candidates will be working in a job:

  • Where 24-hour staffing is required
  • In the armed forces, emergency services, or police
  • In security and surveillance
  • As a domestic servant in a private household
  • As a seafarer, sea-fisherman or worker on vessels on inland waterways
  • Where working time is not measured and the employee is in control

Employees can choose to work more than 48 hours by “opting out,” which must be voluntary and in writing. However, there are some professions that cannot opt-out including:

  • Airline staff
  • Ship or boat workers
  • Road transport industry workers such as delivery drivers
  • Other workers that travel in and operate vehicles covered by EU rules on drivers’ hours such as bus conductors
  • Security guards on a vehicle carrying high-value goods

4. Non-work finding services can’t be a condition of finding work for work-seekers

For example, if you are providing additional services such as CV writing and transport to jobs, the terms and conditions of these must be in a separate document, given to work-seekers before hand, and not a condition of you finding work for them.

These terms and conditions typically include information on:

  • The goods or services you are charging for
  • The right to cancel any goods or services at any time without penalty
  • The notice needed to cancel any goods or services
  • Details of any charges for goods or services
  • Details of any gifts or benefits to encourage work-seekers to use your goods or services

5. In some cases you’ll need to pay for or arrange travel for work-seekers

There are some instances where you will need to pay or arrange for the chosen candidate to travel to work. This is when:

  • The work-seeker is not your client’s employee
  • The work-seeker is under 18
  • Free travel or payment has been arranged for the journey to work
  • The work then finishes or doesn’t even start

If any of these are applicable, you must:

  • Arrange free return travel
  • Pay the return fare
  • Arrange with your client to provide free return travel or to pay the fare

Again, this should be in writing and given to your candidate. If for any reason your client doesn’t meet the agreement, it is your responsibility to cover the travel expenses.

Additional laws and legislation

More information about additional laws and legislation for employment agencies and businesses can be found on the government’s website. For even greater detail, read through The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.

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