West Midlands agencies asleep at the wheel
The warnings follow intelligence-led investigations by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, in collaboration with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. Investigators found that eighteen agencies in the area broke the law a total of 80 times between them.
These offences included:
- failing to confirm the identity of drivers
- not checking health and safety risks with hirers
- failing to issue terms and conditions and
- not providing written agreements on pay
Inspectors will be conducting further visits in the coming months to follow up on intelligence received during the investigations. They are considering further action in a number of cases.
Department for Business Minister Pat McFadden said:
"The recession must not be an excuse for denying people their employment rights.
"Cutting corners in this way exploits drivers, undercuts the agencies that play by the rules and, in this sector, could put people at serious risk on the roads.
"Follow up investigations will take place to make sure that the agencies concerned have changed their ways. Agencies that continue to flout the law could be prosecuted and hit hard with unlimited fines or banned from operating for up to 10 years."
People can report employment agencies they suspect of breaking the law by contacting the Pay and Work Rights helpline, free on 0800 917 2368 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.