Employment agencies providing workers when there's a strike

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 places a restriction on employment businesses providing work-seekers in industrial disputes. For the purposes of the regulations an “employment business” is a business that employs or engages work-seekers under a contract who in turn works under the supervision of another person. This practice is commonly referred as “temping”.

What are the restrictions?

As a general rule an employment business is not allowed to introduce or supply a work-seeker to a hirer to perform the following duties: 

  • the duties which are normally performed by a worker who is taking part in a strike or other industrial action (such a worker is referred to in the Regulations as “the first worker”); or 
  • the duties normally performed by any other worker employed by the hirer and who is assigned by the hirer to perform the duties normally performed by the first worker.

What if the employment business is unaware of the reason for which the hirer seeks a work-seeker?

An employment business who does not know, and has no reasonable grounds for knowing, that the first worker is taking part in a strike or other industrial action will not caught by the restriction.

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For more information on:

  • Does the restriction apply to all strikes and all forms of industrial action?
  • What is classed as an unofficial strike or other unofficial industrial action?