Employment Agencies Act (EAA)

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 is intended to regulate the private recruitment industry and protect ‘work-seekers’.

Key points include:

An employment agency/business cannot:

  • Charge a fee to a work-seeker to find them work.
  • Withhold payments or wages due to temporary work-seekers.
  • Supply a temporary worker to replace someone taking part in industrial action at the hiring company.
  • Make unlawful deductions from pay.

An employment agency/business must make sure temporary workers are:

  • Paid for all the work they do.
  • Paid holidays.
  • Paid at least the national minimum wage.
  • Protected under health and safety laws.
  • Not forced to work longer than 48 hours per week.
  • Given written terms of employment.

An employment agency/business must also:

  • Carry out suitability checks prior to employment for all ‘temporary’ work-seekers.
  • Advertise any vacancy/position with full details and whether it is a temporary or permanent position.
  • Provide terms and conditions to companies hiring temp.

Important note for limited company contractors

Limited company contractors (personal service companies), can choose to “opt-out” of these regulations. You cannot choose which bits to opt-out of – it’s all of the regulations or none. There are pros and cons to opting out, however a key point to consider is that these regulations were designed to apply to workers under the control of the end-hirer. If you are working outside of IR35, “opting-in” to these regulations may not support your IR35 status.

The above is intended as an overview only and is in no way comprehensive. It is not a substitute for legal advice. We have provided some resources for further reading:

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003

Agency Regulations: FAQs