REC in the UK crack down on non compliant agencies

From time to time I do some research into the UK and this caught my attention today. Taken from REC web site here

"The REC's 2008 Annual Complaints Report highlights its continuous crackdown on member agencies found in non-compliance with its ten point Code of Professional Practice.

During the year, the REC’s Professional Standards Committee issued four Reprimands, seven Inspections – four of which were for one agency, two Compliance Orders and in one instance expelled an agency from membership following revocation of its Gangmasters Licensing Authority licence.

Commenting on the Committee’s decisions, the REC’s Chief Executive, Kevin Green, said: “The action taken in these cases sends out a very clear message - that we will deal with those members accordingly who are found wanting in their delivery of the exemplary services demanded through our Code.

“At the heart of our activities is our relentless work in raising standards within the recruitment industry and our Professional Standards Committee ensures that we can identify those members who are not performing to our optimum requirements.”

Last year, the REC’s Professional Standards Team handled 827 complaints and inquiries – seven more than in 2007 with around 35 per cent of these being against members, nine per cent less than in the previous year.

Another 14 per cent were against non-members while the other 51 per cent were general inquiries including misuse of REC logos and notifications of scams.The team also started 22 formal investigations last year, two less than in 2007.

Last year, temporary workers were again the main group of complainants accounting for around 23 per cent of all queries compared to 30 per cent the previous year.Most of the complaints centred on pay problems, terms of engagement, holiday pay entitlement, unprofessional conduct and more general comments about poor communication and customer service.

Queries from permanent candidates also decreased slightly from 21 per cent last year to 20 per cent in 2008.

Fola Tayo, the REC’s Head of Professional Standards, said of the figures: “The downward trend in the number of complaints against our members is very encouraging and demonstrates their commitment to providing a first-class service.

“The introduction of inspections by our assessment team has provided a practical way of helping members uphold the regulations and this is an area of work we shall continue to expand this year.”

Findings of the report included:

* The greatest number of complaints came from the London region with 42 per cent of the total received. However, around a quarter of all members are located within this area. Next was the South East region with eight per cent which was more than a four per cent decrease on 2007. Lowest levels were recorded in Northern Ireland with one per cent followed by Wales with two per cent.

* Nine per cent of the total number of complaints related to sector groups – again a fall on the previous year which stood at 11 per cent. Most related to the Technology Sector with 24 complaints, six lower than in 2007.

* Most of the complaints received in the Technology Sector related to problems with unsolicited mail, poaching, contractual issues, payment and harassment.

* Next was the Drivers Sector which recorded 11 complaints most in relation to unprofessional conduct. The Education Sector was next with most of the nine complaints arising from difficulties with the portability of Criminal Records Bureau checks."

Copies of the report are available from the REC website: http://www.rec.uk.com