Published on 20th June 2022
The World Employment Confederation (WEC) is concerned with the report from its national federation, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), about a possible repeal by the UK Government of Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.
Respect for the Worker’s Rights is one of the ten pillars in WEC’s Code of Conduct. This principle includes the requirement for private employment agencies to not make agency workers available to a user company with the aim to replace workers of that company who are legally on strike. As the global voice of the private employment services industry, the World Employment Confederation aims at promoting a highly ethical and professional provision of services and its members commit to the principles of the Code of Conduct.
The ILO Recommendation 188 on private employment agencies clearly states that private employment agencies should not make workers available to a user enterprise to replace workers of that enterprise who are on strike (Article 6). While the ILO Recommendation 188 is not legally binding in the UK, the World Employment Confederation is convinced that many private employment services companies and their clients are keen to ensure that they are not seen as sidestepping the ethical considerations presented by the ILO and can protect their workers from detriment.
We urge the UK Government to reconsider this decision of repealing the Ban on Agency Workers Covering Strikes and we support the actions taken by the REC in order to safeguard that fundamental right for workers. Safeguarding this provision is also essential to ensure that the agency work industry remains a decent, trusted and responsible partner for workers, businesses and society as a whole.