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Do you know your rights as a work-seeker?

Written on 14-Oct-2016

We are passionate about the services we offer our CJUK Chefs, and ensuring that we “do it right”. Too often we hear stories about Chefs being taken advantage of, so while we cannot fix all the wrongs, we can arm our CJUK Chefs with the knowledge of their rights when working through an agency or business.

As a work-seeker, it’s important for you to know that there are rules governing Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses and that you can ask questions if you feel they are not being followed.

There are differences between “Employment Agencies” and “Employment Businesses”.

Under the legislation, an “Employment Agency” ordinarily introduces candidates to client organisations for permanent vacancies or fixed term contract vacancies. In this instance, the Agency will charge the client organisation a fee, and the client organisation employs the candidate directly.

An “Employment Business” ordinarily supplies temporary workers. Again, any fees involved are charged to the client organisation, never the candidate. The Employment Business will then take responsibility for paying the candidate.

CJUK provide both services and will, therefore, fall under both definitions.

Employment agencies and employment businesses are regulated by the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.

Anyone running an employment agency or employment business has to follow certain rules.

In brief, an agency or business cannot:

  • charge a fee to a work-seeker for work finding services
  • stop someone from working elsewhere or terminating their contract with them
  • make someone tell them the name of any future employer
  • withhold payments or wages due
  • supply a temporary worker to replace someone taking part in industrial action
  • charge for a uniform without telling the worker in advance
  • make unlawful deductions from pay

The agency or business must also make sure workers are:

  • paid for all the work they do
  • paid holiday pay (where we are acting as an agency we ensure we inform our client organisations of their responsible for paying the Chef’s Remuneration and associated costs including any holiday entitlement)
  • not forced to work longer than 48 hours a week
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage
  • protected under health and safety laws
  • given written terms of employment

As a general rule agencies and employment businesses are prohibited from charging or seeking to charge work-seekers for the service of finding or seeking to find employment for them.

Agencies and employment businesses are also restricted from requiring work-seekers to use services for which they are entitled to charge, as a condition of providing work-finding services (such as CV writing services).

Written by…

tracey-cjuk

HR Manager

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