As expected the government plans to proceed with the new
regulation to ensure that employment agencies and businesses should have to
advertise jobs locally if they also intend to advertise for foreign workers to
work in UK jobs.
The new requirement, which the government hopes to bring
into force by the end of this year, will prohibit agencies from advertising UK
jobs in the European Economic Area unless the jobs are also advertised in
English in Great Britain (GB) at the same time, or if the job has already been
advertised in GB for at least 28 days beforehand.
This amendment to the agency regulations delivers on the
government promise to regulate in this area and is no doubt part of the government
plan to try and limit local jobs being lost to foreign workers. However, the requirements are not particularly
specific or onerous and it would seem that any advert in GB in English for the
job would suffice so long as it is run for 28 days before or at the same time
as the advertisement abroad.
There is a defence to not placing a GB advertisement if the
agency reasonably believes a GB advertisement would be disproportionate because
of the likelihood that no-one locally would apply for the job.
Ravi Murphy, director and head of client relations at the
recruitment law specialist Lawspeed, said “The lack of specific requirements coupled
with the defence would potentially render this proposed regulation a cosmetic
rather than a real exercise but nevertheless, agencies should take note that
failure to comply could result in an investigation and sanctions under the
Employment Agencies Act. Furthermore it could possibly create negative press,
given the current climate in which immigration and local jobs for local workers
appears high on the political agenda”.