Forum tackles Corby agency concerns

Corby Employment Agencies Forum says it is resolving workers' issues over pay and conditions and is planning further action to safeguard the rights of temporary employees
Corby Employment Agencies Forum says it is resolving workers' issues over pay and conditions and is planning further action to safeguard the rights of temporary employees

Corby Employment Agencies Forum says it is resolving workers’ issues over pay and conditions.

And it is planning further action to safeguard the rights of temporary employees

It met last Friday, the first time since its code of practice was launched last year, to review how successful it has been in its aim to improve the lot of thousands of workers in the borough.

Corby MP Andy Sawford, who met representatives of employment agencies, businesses and trade unions at the meeting at the Cube, said he was pleased with the progress made so far.

He said: “The forum has so far resolved 11 issues relating to the need for people to be paid correctly and on time.

“The forum meeting was well attended and the code of practice is achieving results.”

So far, 11 of the town’s employment agencies and some of Corby’s biggest employers have signed up to the code which is still being developed.

At the meeting delegates discussed a number of concerns including the use of umbrella pay services companies, the selling of personal accident insurance to temporary workers and trade union membership.

In January the MP raised the issue in Parliament of agencies selling personal accident insurance to workers.

Corby Employment Agencies Forum now plans to write guidelines on personal accident cover into its code of practice.

Mr Sawford said: “It’s important that employees are given all the information about personal accident insurance and then given the choice whether they want it or not.

“It’s also important that agencies don’t sell insurance on to people at a significant profit.

“We will be developing some aspects of the code of practice to address these issues.”

In the autumn the forum is to hold an event to discuss the practice of agencies operating illegally to recruit workers abroad.

At the meeting on Friday, David Camp of the Gangmasters Licensing Athority gave a presentation on what has been termed “modern-day slavery”.

The forum heard case studies of people who have been recruited to work in the UK and who have subsequently had their passports confiscated.

Mr Sawford said: “New legislation is being introduced to increase the penalties for this kind of practice.

“We want to make sure that Corby is at the forefront of the drive to prevent this kind of exploitation.”