Is your temporary workforce legally compliant? Whilst you would assume that most companies could answer a confident yes to that question, you actually need to look closely at your supplier list to be able to honestly answer. In fact, statistics show that a staggering 71% of agency suppliers fail their first audit, with 32% failing on legal compliance items.Such is the concern, that in order to deal with the growing issue of illegal workers, the Home Office has recently launched the ‘Operation Magnify’ campaign, handing out fines to companies of up to £20,000 per worker to expose those who are employing and exploiting illegal migrant workers, especially in the construction industry.
Of course, compliance items should be covered in your agency service agreement (if you have one), but in order to truly ensure your workforce is – and remains to be – legally compliant, we would recommend that all agencies are audited at least twice every year to keep up-to-date on exactly what is going on with your temporary workforce. Read on for other ways to ensure your workforce is legally compliant.
1. National Living Wage
The National Living Wage was introduced in April 2016, meaning that employers must pay workers aged 25 or over at least £7.20 per hour. This 50p per hour increase from the previous rate is the next step in the plan to reach a minimum wage of £9 per hour by 2020. As an employer, it’s a criminal offence not to comply, so be very careful to make sure that you are paying the right amounts to the right people, especially when it comes to agency workers. You should also be aware that some umbrella schemes take workers below living wage without realising. Read our blog ‘The Rise of the Living Wage’ to find our more about the impact it could have on temporary labour.
2. DBS/CRB checks
Particularly important in the care sector, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your business and its workforce is legally compliant is to ensure that you carry the necessary checks on your employees. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) replaces the previous Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), and helps employers to make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups.
3. Right To Work checklist
Before you offer employment to any new members of staff, certain checks need to be carried out on potential employees of all nationalities to ensure they have a right to work in the UK. As well as checking identification documents such as passports, birth certificates or identity cards, you should also ensure that all photographs and dates across the documents are consistent and also be aware of any work restrictions. Once checked, each document must be copied and stored safely for the correct amount of time.
4. Agency Workers Regulations
Agency Workers Regulations were put in place to give agency workers the entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly after a qualifying period of 12 weeks. Or, to put it simply, to ensure that temporary and contract workers have the same rights as permanent employees. This can be particularly difficult to monitor if you are a large company with many different divisions and trading names, using lots of different agencies – you could be contravening the regulations without even knowing it. However, as an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure your workers receive the right equal treatment, from annual leave to rest breaks and notifications of relevant job vacancies.
5. Modern Slavery Act
Introduced in October 2015, the Modern Slavery Act was implemented to stamp out modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. If your business has a turnover of more than £36m, you must comply with the Act by producing and publishing an annual slavery and trafficking statement. The statement should explain what steps your business has or hasn’t taken throughout the year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking hasn’t taken place in any part of your business or supply chain.
It might sound like a lot to keep on top of, but RPO technology is a great way to stay aware of what’s going on in your business and to ensure that your workforce is legally compliant. By storing information such as DBS checks, rights to work, qualifications and health and safety training in one central place, you can benefit from total supply chain visibility and gain complete control.
Find out more about RPO Technology and how it can help you audit your recruitment agencies download our simple guide here.