The government has now implemented provisions to curb only advertising UK based jobs overseas. The insertion of Regulation 27A of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (‘Conduct Regulations’) means that if you are advertising jobs abroad, you also have to place adverts in English in the UK. It may seem like this is a blanket ban, but in reality the overseas ads only have to be advertised in the UK either between twenty eight days before being placed in an EEA country or at the same time as the EEA advertisement. There is also a “defence” to not placing a UK advert if the recruitment business believes that no one locally would apply for this position. This is a very subjective test and it is easy to see how it could lead to all sorts of unfounded preconceptions regarding what UK jobseekers would and wouldn’t do.
If you watched BBC Breakfast this morning you may have noticed that one of their main stories was on a health authority criticising the recruitment nurses from overseas. At the other side of the spectrum, the Royal Sussex Hospital has met nurse shortages by running a recruitment and induction programme akin to a relocation service, which includes free English lessons. The majority of nurses recruited are from southern EEA countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy.
As you may recall ARC supported the legislation change. In 2014, ARC’s Chairman Adrian Marlowe welcomed the change and commented:
“Once the regulation is in force UK works will be able to view jobs that are offered abroad, even if end user hirers tell the agency that they only want to hire foreign workers. Other sanctions already exist under the Equality Act 2010 if foreign workers are given preference over local workers. As a result, this new provision addresses an unhelpful perception about the recruitment industry and will enable it to demonstrate that it is not adding fuel to the fire over why some UK jobs are not going to UK workers.”
But where does this leave us in terms of the practical outcomes? The Regulation 27A amendment is a qualified ban and is not as bad as recent headlines have been suggesting. If this affects your business, seek legal advice so that you are keeping within the Conduct Regulations and the Equality Act 2010. The alternative could turn out to be a very expensive affair.