Summit calls for code of practice for agencies

Andy Sawford arranged the summit
Andy Sawford arranged the summit

An MP has said he hopes a code of conduct can be set up to tackle the problems associated with some employment agencies in a Northamptonshire town.

A summit to discuss the issue arranged by Andy Sawford, MP for Corby and East Northants, met today (Friday, April 5) at the Corby Cube.

Trade unions, employers and agencies, local councillors and members of the public were among those represented at the talks.

“I would like us to set up a local watchdog to make sure a code of practice is being followed,” Mr Sawford said.

“The attendance today shows the most agencies in town want to have a good reputation with employers and local people. They want to make sure they are doing the right thing and are viewed positively.

“This is a big issue for several thousand people in Corby. I hope this will be the start of a new focus on improving agency work in the town. How effective it is will be down to the commitment of all the people involved today.”

One Corby worker told the Telegraph he was accused of theft by his employers in December last year days before completing his probationary period.

Eamonn McGinley, 46, said he was deliberately forced out of his job, despite never having previously been in trouble during his 30-year career. He also said the agency which had got him the job had shown no interest in helping him deal with the accusation, despite no action being brought against him.

“As a father I should be able to provide for my children,” he said. “I want to work. I am not on the dole because I want to be on the dole.

“It’s just disgusting. Where’s the future for the kids in Corby?”

Cllr Tom Beattie, leader of Corby Council, earlier told the meeting he was concerned by the sheer number of agencies operating in Corby, estimated to stand at more than 40. That number is significantly higher than Northampton, despite the difference in population between the two towns.