Legal Update – Do you know what the relevant period is? And how relevant is it to your business?

October 3, 2019Olivia Cheetham

The Relevant period is the period of time when you can charge a temp to perm fee to your client if they engage the worker directly, or through a third party, with or without your knowledge.

So what are the conduct regulations and what do they say about temp to perm fees?

The Conduct Regulations or to give them their full name, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 were introduced to provide workers and clients with minimum standards they could expect from recruitment agencies. They are essentially enforceable, statutory law that all agencies must abide by.

So this piece of legislation affects all temporary recruitment agencies.

There have been several amendments over the years to the Conduct Regulations and the last change prevented agencies from charging clients temp to perm fees whenever clients engaged workers directly.

Now agencies can only charge if the client engages the worker during the relevant period. 

So how is the relevant period defined in the Conduct Regulations?

“The relevant period” means whichever of the following periods ends later, namely—

(a) the period of 8 weeks commencing on the day after the day on which the work-seeker last worked for the client pursuant to being supplied by the employment business; or

(b) subject to paragraph (6), the period of 14 weeks commencing on the first day on which the work-seeker worked for the client pursuant to the supply of that work-seeker to that client by the employment business.”

And if there was a break in the assignment of more than 42 days between the assignment then no fee can be charged.

In layman’s terms, an agency can only charge an introduction fee if the engagement happens during the assignment, within 8 weeks of the worker leaving the assignment or within 14 weeks of the worker being in the assignment.

If the assignment terminates at 15 weeks and the client then engages the worker without your consent, the client is allowed to do this without a charge.

BUT just because you find an engagement within the “relevant period”, it does not necessarily mean you can have an automatic legal claim to charge an introduction fee. You have to actually find evidence and proof that not only the engagement happened ie the worker had and is working for your client, but also that they were engaged during the “relevant period”. 

Without these 2 vital pieces of evidence, you may fail to win a case in court.

Generally, in our experience all introduction fees are contested, and therefore here at Easypay we will assist you to ensure you have the right evidence and the legal right to raise the fee in the first place.