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REC expels Valley Education Services for payment mistakes in breach of its code

Tue, 24 Jan 2017

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation has expelled education recruiter Valley Education Services (VES) for being unclear on day rates, failing to pay the National Living Wage and not paying a worker for four months, resulting in a breach of five principles of the REC Code of Professional Practice.

In a statement released this morning, the REC revealed that following a complaint by a worker, the REC launched an investigation that also took in a site visit to VES. The agency was found to be in breach of the REC code, including Principle 1, respect for laws; Principle 2, respect for honesty and transparency; Principle 6, respect for professional knowledge; Principle 7, respect for certainty of engagement; and Principle 8, respect for prompt and accurate payment.

Expanding on these breaches, a REC spokesperson told Recruiter VES was found to have told the complainant they were on a certain day rate and holiday pay was being accrued, but in fact the agency was deducting holiday pay from the worker's day rate. Given the hours the complainant was working, this meant in some cases they were not being paid the National Living Wage.

The REC spokesperson added VES was also found to have failed to pay the complainant until nearly four months after the work had been undertaken and only after the REC had investigated the complaint.

The case was referred to the REC's Professional Standards Committee, which decided VES should be expelled from REC membership.

Recruiter contacted VES for comment but the agency had failed to respond by deadline.

According to its LinkedIn profile, the Wales-based agency has under 10 employees.

By way on an update the REC also revealed that it dealt with 137 complaints against recruitment agencies in 2016, with 59 resolved before any formal investigation was needed, 46 ruled as invalid or outside the REC's remit with these cases referred to relevant bodies, 31 resulting in formal investigations, some of which are ongoing, and one case in which there a decision is pending on whether to investigate.

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It was me who made this complaint. Valleys Education were totally unprofessional and failed to respond to a verbal complaint and a written complaint. Rec were amazingly supportive in their response to my complaint. I then worked for Vetro Recruitment in Cardiff who were so professional and paid a better wage and are professional in their approach to agency workers.

Lesley Reynolds (24/01/2017 23:21:56)

Well done REC. Too often agencies live under the REC conduct banner and fail to embed best practice.
With government under increasing pressure to come up with alternative recruitment options for supply in England it is imperative that our standards are upheld. AWR is not being policed enough - which feeds union discontent, and increases opportunity for lobbying against us.

Tim Griffin (30/01/2017 11:30:31)