Tina Milton The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has taken a fresh stance on its plans for the Regulation of the Private Recruitment Industry Bill which will allow temp to perm employment fees to continue.
The DTI initial proposals, detailed in the Regulation of the Private Recruitment Industry Bill in June 1999, aimed to outlaw 'temp to perm' fees charged by recruitment consultancies.
The new proposals ensure that if an agency wishes to charge temp to perm fees, companies can agree an extension of the hiring period. At the end of that period, the company will be able to take the worker on permanently without paying a transfer fee.
Fintan O'Toole, director of agency Securicor recruitment services says this has eliminated the fears within the industry. "The new proposals eliminate these concerns, as recruitment consultancies wishing to charge a temp to perm fee may do so through an extension of the hiring period."
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has welcomed the new proposals. Christine Little, external relations director at the REC said that the big issue now was to discuss with REC members what the length of notice period will be.
"We will be talking to REC members to find out how they see the notice period option working and what they believe the right notice period will be. We will also want to talk to the DTI about some of the practical issues."
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers said that temp to perm arrangements are useful to workers and employers. "Agencies have a legitimate commercial interest to protect, but excessive or 'surprise' agency transfer fees can prevent companies from taking people on permanently. In some cases, they result in temps ending up as unemployed."