The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, often referred to as the Conduct Regulations or the Conduct Regs, provide a framework of minimum standards that govern the conduct of the recruitment industry in the UK. The Government’s Employment Agency Standards (EAS) team at BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), oversees the industry and investigate complaints. The regulations were implemented to ensure that recruitment companies treat both the candidates (“work-seekers”) and clients (“hirer”) fairly.
All workers to whom a recruitment firm provides permanent or temporary work finding services are within the scope of the Conduct Regulations, regardless of the supply model they work through.
PSC contractors may opt-out of the Conduct Regulations. A valid opt-out includes an agreement, signed by the contractor and their PSC before the start date of the assignment. Unless there is a valid opt-out, the contractor is also covered by the regulations.
The Conduct Regulations cover:
- Information required from/given to the client and provided by/to the contractor;
- The contractual documentation which must be in place;
- When a contractor must be paid; and
- When transfer fees can be charged to the client.
The Conduct Regulations have been amended on several occasions since 2003, but to see the original version click here. Especially important amendments were made in 2007, 2010 and 2016:
Non-compliance with the Conduct Regulations can be reported and instigate an inspection by the EAS (Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate), which can lead to a Labour Market Enforcement undertaking, order, a consideration of prosecution proceedings or a consideration of prohibition proceedings. It is therefore very important to adhere to the regulations.
EAS have produced guidance on the Conduct Regulations which you can access here.
FAQs on the Conduct Regulations can be found here:
For the changes made in 2016, we have a guidance to explain the amendments and what the effect they had on the legislation.
We provide members with a model opt-out agreement, to be used when a personal service company (either umbrella company or limited company) contractor, wishes to opt out of the Conduct Regulations.