Ban on Overseas Recruitment by Employment Agencies

There was increasing concern by our Government that recruitment agencies/businesses were advertising positions abroad without first (or at all) affording workers in the UK the opportunity to apply for such positions.

In response to that concern, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3351) have been introduced and provide that as from 5th January 2015 there is now a ban on employment agencies and employment businesses advertising job opportunities available in Great Britain, anywhere other than in Great Britain itself, unless one of the following conditions apply:-

(a)        The vacancy is advertised in English in Great Britain at the same time as it advertises the vacancy in the other EEA state; or

(b)        The vacancy is advertised in English in Great Britain in the period of 28 days ending with the day on which it advertises the vacancy in the other EEA state.

Please however note that the ban will only apply to employment agencies and businesses who solely operate from the UK.  It will still be possible for hirers based in the UK to use overseas recruitment agencies or indeed to advertise the roles themselves in countries other than the UK.

If you use recruitment agencies, who in turn advertise your available job opportunities overseas, I would ask them for written confirmation as to where those jobs are advertised in addition to the timing of such advertisements. I say this as whilst at present it appears that failure to comply with the Regulations as referred to above will lead to a criminal conviction (and possibly civil damages) against the recruitment agency only, given that this is new law the position is far from clear and so I would proceed with caution and seek written clarification to protect your position.

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