Agency director ordered to pay back workers after pleading guilty to withholding wages
30 August 2018
Nicholas Brown the former director of Cotterell and Gifford employment agency pleaded guilty to 4 charges including withholding wages and failing to give information to workers. He has been ordered to pay wages and expenses totalling £5,145 at a hearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court. He has also been disqualified from being a director for 5 years.
The prosecution comes after the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (a government body that enforces rights on behalf of agency workers) launched an investigation based on a worker complaint.
The government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices included a consultation to enhance and protect the rights for Agency Workers. Recommendations included:
Provide all 1.2 million agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages
Consider repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates
Enforce vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time
Give workers a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements
Introduce a new right for all workers to request a more stable contract to provide greater financial security for those on flexible contracts
Introduce a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards to quadruple employment tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000 and considering increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases
Anyone with a complaint or query about an employment agency or about the law applying to agencies should contact the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by the online form on GOV.UK – or contact the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.