By Claire West

The REC has welcomed confirmation from Government that there are currently no plans to downsize the work of the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate, despite forthcoming expenditure cuts.

The need for effective enforcement was underlined during a recent meeting with Employment Relations Minister Ed Davey and has been an ongoing campaign for the REC over a number of years. T

he Government’s position was made clear during a recent debate in Parliament where Ed Davey underlined his commitment to a ‘risk based approach’.

This follows the Minister's written confirmation to the REC that, although the Government agreed with REC view that extending current licensing scheme beyond the agricultural sector would not be the best way forward, enforcement of existing regulations remains a priority.

Commenting on the news, Tom Hadley, the REC’s Director of External Relations, said:

“The Minister's stance is good news for the industry. Enhancing enforcement is in the interests of the vast majority of businesses within our sector that invest in compliance and are trying to do the right thing. It is also good news that any extension of current licensing arrangements is clearly not on the agenda.

“With so much new legislation already in pipeline, the last thing we need is another shake-up of our regulatory environment. What we do need is to ensure that the activities of existing inspectorates are properly targeted and co-ordinated. The Minister's statement sends out a positive message on enforcement issues.”

The REC will continue to drive its own standards agenda as well as working with existing inspectorates to deliver the best possible enforcement regime for the industry.