Employment Agencies Act 1973
|Long title||An Act to regulate employment agencies and businesses; and for connected purposes.|
|Citation||1973 c. 35|
|Introduced by||Kenneth Lewis|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales, Scotland|
|Royal assent||18 July 1973|
Status: Current legislation
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Employment Agencies Act 1973 (c.35) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament and part of a wider body of UK agency worker law. It regulates the conduct of employment agencies which recruit and manage temporary and permanent labour. It applies to approximately 17,000 employment agencies operating in the UK. It was introduced by a private member's bill by Kenneth Lewis, member of parliament for Rutland and Stamford.
In its original form, the Act provided for a system of licensing. Each business which wanted to set up an employment agency was required to have a license which would be denied or revoked if set standards (e.g. no registration fees for workers; no advertising of non-existent jobs) were not followed. The Act came at the same time as similar reforms around Europe, for instance, the German Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz (Employee Hiring Law of 1972).
Regulations prescribing further detailed rules were implemented in 1976.
In 1994, the Conservative government, in its deregulation drive, abolished the system of licenses with the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. Instead, enforcement of regulations would rely on the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate.
In 2003 new regulations were introduced, replacing those from 1976. The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 prohibit the charging of fees, except in a small number of mostly arts related professions (e.g. modelling). The additions made in 2003 were few, primarily relating to confidentiality of information and candidate qualification checks.
Provisions of the Act
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- UK labour law
- UK agency worker law
- Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004
- Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill
- Robert Owen
- Labour Bureau (London) Act 1902
- Labour Exchanges Act 1909
- Adams v. Tanner, 244 US 590 (1917), a US Supreme Court case where a conservative bench, with liberal judges dissenting, decided that a Washington state law prohibiting employment agencies was "unconstitutional".
- Unemployment Convention, 1919, after the ILO's first Recommendation, this called for public employment agencies to be established with a monopoly
- Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention, 1933 (shelved)
- Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention (Revised), 1949
- Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (n.b. the UK never signed up to any of these ILO conventions)
- "House of Commons Debates 18 May 1973 vol 856 cc1854-74". Hansard 1803-2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "House of Lords Debates 08 June 1973 vol 343 cc330-50". Hansard 1803-2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Employment Relations Act 1999 s.7
- Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 3319 The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003
- see DBERR's guidance on the Regulations]