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Tempo, an alliance for temporary recruitment agencies and hirers, calls for more effective enforcement and a better informed workforce to stamp out malpractice in the temporary staffing sector and give the public greater confidence in the quality of services provided.

There is a good deal of regulation for the recruitment industry in the UK but it is not being effectively enforced. The UK benefits considerably from having a flexible workforce and yet often the whole temporary staffing sector is cast in a negative light because of a small minority abusing that flexibility and lack of enforcement. We must continue to develop access to an engaged and flexible temporary workforce while resolutely addressing those who choose to profit from exploiting the workers they place with clients.

While the vigour and innovation of the temporary staffing sector does benefit from new providers being set up, the minimal barriers to entry can lead to poor practice, be it deliberate or due to a lack of experience and knowledge of the regulations.

Keith Faulkner, tempo, comments: “There has been much focus and attention on the use of devices such as zero hours contracts. The contracts are demonised as if they were the source of worker abuse, the reality is that bad managers will abuse their workforce whatever their form of contract, including full time direct employees.

“There is a perception that, as so few companies and individuals have been publicly held to account for flouting existing regulations, there is neither the resource nor the will to stamp out malpractice within the recruitment industry. People and companies abusing workers by ignoring regulations or seeking artificial ‘workarounds’ should be expect early detection and vigorous enforcement.

“At tempo we are committed to pursuing appropriate regulation in order to facilitate a thriving market for business but one that sees workers protected and company owners in breach of the law punished. We will continue working with temporary recruitment agencies and hirers, senior professionals and the Government until we have the right regulation effectively enforced.”