Since April of this year, the government has reclaimed more than £125,000 in unpaid wages for agency workers. This has been carried out by the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate who have been given more powers over the past year. They have managed to win back more than double the wages in these past four months than they did in the whole of last year.
Situations in which they have successfully recovered wages include £17000 for four engineers from West Sussex, one of whom had to sell his car in order to pay rent. They also won back £30,000 from a London modelling agency which had folded. This money accounted for the lost earnings of 55 models.
Pat McFadden, business minister said: “I’m pleased that the bigger, more powerful agency standard team is out there delivering results for agency workers. The recession should not be used as an excuse to deny people their employment rights, and the agency standards inspectors are a crucial tool in ensuring this.”
Alongside claiming back unpaid wages, the EAS team also work to recover monies that have been wrongly deducted by agencies or where workers have been charged for agency services which they had not requested or signed up for.
Managing director of The Employment Agents’ Movement (TEAM), Kirsty Craig commented: ‘This sort of behaviour does our industry no favours whatsoever and while most recruitment agencies more than fulfil their obligations to their temporary staff, there are others who consistently flout the law time and again. These people need to understand that they are not above the law and that appropriate action will be taken.”