Excelling in Compliance

Written by Karen Ainsworth-Smith | Blog | Human Resources | Legal | Posted 18/10/2013

There are many pieces of UK legislation which affect a staffing company’s provision of temporary resource to its clients. Keeping up to date with UK regulations and compliance best practice is a time-consuming task requiring specialist knowledge and is something many recruitment firms struggle with.

Whilst the challenge of compliance belongs to the staffing company, it may not seem relevant to pay attention to how they are doing as, after all, you have your own compliance issues to address. We would say that there are a few good reasons why you should be interested in how your staffing providers handle their compliance responsibilities. Those that excel at compliance:

Reduce business and financial risks for themselves and you:

- Will spot problems aerlier and are more likely to solve them

- Are Likely to be good at planning, organising and attention to detail, which will be reflected in the quality of their operations

As an end user, it is in your interest to contract with companies that are following industry best practice in compliance

- Membership of a reputable trade body

Such associations encourage best practice and provide members with updates and analysis on regulatory change. It is not enough to just join and display the logo though; how a company behaves and the information it provides and requests at the beginning of a new relationship can also be very revealing

- Agreeing terms of business

For the protection of all parties involved, understanding the terms of business in place before services are provided is extremely important. Whilst in the real world timescales don’t always permit terms being agreed and signed before services are delivered, having an organisation that is reluctant to discuss or negotiate terms at the outset could expose all parties to potential risk that could, in reality, be prevented at the outset

- Understanding your needs

Does your recruiter know your market sector well and understand the skill sets you’re looking for and the culture of your company?

Where a staffing company is not running its business with due respect to the regulatory framework in place, it’s arguable that their business will have more exposure to complaints, disputes and claims from temporary workers, disrupting their ability to continue to supply your temporary resource needs.

- Understanding the supply chain

Does your recruiter talk proactively to you about the supply model the workers are likely to use? Whilst you may think that subjects such as the ‘Conduct Regulations’ and the ‘Agency Workers Regulations’ are solely the responsibility of the staffing company, and not something you should have to consider, complaints or claims from temporary workers can often involve the end user and at the very least could take up valuable time within your organisation or create unwelcome publicity.

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills is currently reviewing the future of the regulatory framework within which staffing companies work. Increasing professionalism within the industry is a desirable aim by the Government; workers and end clients alike what to have confidence in using staffing providers and there is a real drive within recruitment firms to increase professionalism.

Our recommendation would always be to put the right legal framework in place at the outset; not only does this result in clear relationships between the supplier and the client but could result in fewer financial risks and a better service for you.

Karen Ainsworth-Smith

RSG Legal Services

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