Labour has said it would introduce a system of licensing to clamp down on “rogue” recruitment agencies.
In a speech in London, Ed Miliband said some agencies break minimum wage laws and exploit workers by undercutting wages of permanent staff.
He announced regulatory measures for such agencies if his party is elected, including:
- A ban on employment agencies recruiting from abroad
- Closing loopholes that allow agencies to undercut wages of permanent staff
- Introduce a licensing system designed to get “rogue” agencies to “clean up their act”
Labour will not tolerate “a world of work that is becoming more brutal because of the way some cowboy employment agencies have been allowed to operate”, he said.
Labour said some agency workers were being hit with “unfair and illegal charges”, including for travel and accommodation, which could mean their salary dropped below the minimum wage.
It said they could be paid less than permanent staff because of a legal loophole known as the “Swedish derogation” and could also be offered work that was unsuitable or in a remote location.