The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 and more recently the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (NI) 2005 introduced rules to regulate the conduct of Employment Agencies and Businesses. In the legislation an Employment Agency is defined as a ‘business (working on its own or in conjunction with another business with or without a view to making profit) of providing services for the purposes of finding employment with employers or of supplying employer with persons for employment by them’. An Employment Business is defined as a ‘business (working on its own or in conjunction with another business with or without a view to making profit) of supplying persons in the employment of the person carrying on the business, to act for, and under the control of, other persons in any capacity’. In other words, the main purpose of an Employment Agency is to provide an employer with permanent employees (through provision of a recruitment service), whereas the main purpose of an Employment Business is to provide an employer with temporary workers. However, it is important to note that a number of organisations may operate as both an Agency and a Business.
The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.
The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.
While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.