UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Red Light Stops Driving Agency Bosses

Press Release   •   Feb 18, 2010 08:44 GMT

The Directors of an HGV recruitment company have been banned from running an employment agency for up to ten years following action taken by the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS).

The hearing at Leeds Employment Tribunal follows an investigation by the EAS which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Tribunal heard how the businesses run by David Allon, Marc Hedley, Sian Pemberton and Angela Roberts breached the law by:

·        failing to keep records;

·        withholding payment of wages to drivers;

·        failing to issue terms of employment to drivers;

·        failing to carry out checks on drivers, such as confirming their identity or that they held the correct driving licences; and

·        supplying drivers who did not hold the required licences.

The agencies supplied HGV drivers to hirers in Yorkshire and the North of England and traded under various trade names including ‘Driverwise Recruitability’, 'Driverwise Recruitment', ‘Driverwise/Staffwise’, Recruitability’, 'Recruit' and 'Recruit Employment'. The companies are now dissolved and the businesses have ceased trading.

Both Allon and Hedley were Directors of Driverwise Limited whilst Allon was also a Director of Recruit Employment Limited. Pemberton was a Director of Recruitment Employment Limited and Roberts the Company Secretary.

The Tribunal banned David Allon from running or being concerned with the running of an employment agency or employment business for the maximum period of ten years. Sian Pemberton, Angela Roberts and Marc Hedley, were banned for five years.

Lord Young, the Minister responsible for employment relations, said:

“Rogues like these give the recruitment sector a bad name so I am delighted to see the Tribunal’s decision putting the brakes on their unacceptable behaviour.

“The EAS will continue to take action against unscrupulous agencies to protect workers and hirers from illegal practices. This case sends out a clear message to the industry that we will act against those agencies who break the law.”

EAS brought this case under the Employment Agencies Act 1973.  The misconduct was brought to their attention by a total of 26 complainants, including drivers and hirers.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) Operations Director Alex Fiddes said:

"VOSA welcomes this firm action by EAS against irresponsible agencies. In closing them down they have removed a threat to road safety. An unqualified driver in a 44 tonne lorry is an accident waiting to happen."

Notes for Editors

1.         The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) made an application to prohibit David Allon, Marc Hedley, Sian Pemberton and Angela Roberts under Section 3A of the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

2.         Under the Act, Employment Tribunals may prohibit individuals, companies or partnerships, from carrying on, or being concerned with the carrying on, of an employment agency or an employment business for a period of up to ten years on grounds of misconduct.

3.         Employment Tribunals will consider evidence from BIS on applications made by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and can issue a total ban against a person or attach certain conditions attached to any order.

4.         Anyone with a complaint or query about an employment agency or about the law applying to agencies should contact the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate by emailing eas@bis.gsi.gov.uk or calling 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 www.direct.gov.uk/agencyworkers or by calling the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.

5.         The Employment Agency Standards inspectorate is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. To find out more about the EAS, please visit http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment/employment-agencies/index.html

6.         Agencies that break the law can face prosecution and on 6 April 2009 new laws came into force that allows courts to impose unlimited fines for the most serious offences. Rogue agencies can also be banned from operating for up to ten years.

7.          A current list of prohibited persons is available on the EAS website http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment/employment-agencies/index.html

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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