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Department of Trade and Industry

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Employment agencies in England, Scotland and Wales must comply with the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and regulations. Click here for guidance on employment agencies legislation and our service standards.

Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate is part of the DTI. The Inspectorate carries out routine inspections of agencies and investigates complaints about agency conduct. The Inspectorate operates an enquiry line 0845 955 5105 (Monday - Friday 9:30 - 16:30).

Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate Annual Report for 2004/05
click here pdf (70Kb)

For guidance on the investigation of complaints process adopted by the Inspectorate see Employment Agency Standards - General Enforcement and Procedural Guidance (MS Word 166Kb). Prosecution Guidance for Inspectors

Not sure if you should complain about an agency? As well as the guidance mentioned above, you can check our Frequently asked questions for agency workers. If you have more questions, please phone the enquiry line. Then if you want to make a complaint, you can either do it by phone or fill in our  Employment agency complaint form.  

Already operating an agency or thinking of starting one? Read our Frequently asked questions for agencies.  

The Government is currently in the process of revising the regulations and has published Details of the proposals.  

There is also a Proposal for an EC Directive on agency work.

The document The recruitment industry in the UK pdf (39Kb) provides some information about the size and make-up of the industry.

Get Acrobat ReaderDocuments in pdf format, indicated with a  pdf  can be opened with Adobe Acrobat reader, available free of charge.

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Last updated 8 November 2005