UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (National): EAS lays foundations for successful enforcement in the construction employment agency sector

Press Release   •   Nov 19, 2010 11:47 GMT

Inspectors from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS) have recently completed a successfully targeted enforcement operation covering the construction sector throughout October.

A total of 58 agencies were visited in England, Scotland and Wales. EAS inspectors identified two construction agencies that had failed to pay nearly £30,000 to a total of 39 workers for the hours that they had worked. EAS successfully secured payment for the workers in full and are currently considering whether legal action should be taken against the agencies involved.

On average, EAS found 6 infringements of the Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 at each agency, although the majority of these were low risk paper infringements. Inspectors offered advice and guidance where non-compliance was found and agencies were given warning letters and three weeks to amend their business practices.

Edward Davey, the Minister responsible for employment relations, said:

“I am delighted to see the successful results of the EAS’ recent operation. A vibrant and well-run private recruitment sector is a vital part of this country’s economy. I am determined to see employment businesses complying with the law in the construction sector and elsewhere.”

Using the information gained during this operation EAS will be issuing further guidance for this sector to support business and raise levels of compliance.

Notes for Editors:

1. Anyone with a complaint or query about an employment agency, or about the law applying to agencies, should contact the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368. Agency workers can find out more about the rights they are entitled to by visiting

2. The Employment Agency Standards inspectorate is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. To find out more about the EAS, please visit

3. Agencies that break the law can face prosecution and courts may impose unlimited fines for the most serious offences. Rogue agencies can also be banned from operating for up to ten years. A current list of prohibited people is available on the EAS website

4. BIS' online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.


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