REC calls for ‘poaching’ framework agreements to be scrapped

The Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) has launched a campaign to scrap a clause in NHS framework agreements and local authority contracts which allow clients to “poach” temporary staff fro

The Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) has launched a campaign to scrap a clause in NHS framework agreements and local authority contracts which allow clients to “poach” temporary staff from agency books after only a four-week notice period.

The specific term essentially enables the client to take the temporary worker on to their own books (either as a temp or a permanent employee) with only a four-week notice period being given to the agency. 

Commenting on the need for such terms to be amended or scrapped altogether, REC director of external relations Tom Hadley says: “There is always pressure on public bodies to cut costs and manage their risk but all procurement has to be about finding the right balance. The extended hire term is unacceptable both in practice and in principle and lays the door open to what amounts to asset stripping of the core offering that recruitment agencies have, namely the workers on their books. Agencies cannot provide a free recruitment service and the need for temp to temp and temp to perm fees is enshrined in the Conduct Regulations.”

Hadley told Recruiter that the clause relates to an existing locum doctors contract and live AHP and non-clinical contracts.

“This is particularly concerning for recruiters on top of the removal of the VAT Staff Hire Concession next April. It is going to make it harder for recruiters,” he adds.

Recruiters have been invited to provide additional feedback on the issue. The REC is currently flagging the issue up to government departments , procurement bodies and other business organisations who are also leading campaigns on public procurement policy. 

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