Recruitment ‘ignorance’ puts industry at risk

Catering and hospitality companies that hire temporary staff to cope with the Olympics period could fall foul of recent changes to recruitment legislation if they are not careful, a specialist in the sector has warned.

With operators in particular making plans for employing temporary staff to cope with an Olympic summer, Rafiq Chohan, managing director of recruitment specialist Goldteam, said that ignorance of recruitment legislation threatens to land employers in hot water.

“Unwitting employers are putting themselves at risk of tribunal claims, negative PR and penalties for non-compliance with regulations – in particular the new Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) that came in to force in October,” he said.

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AWR gives temporary employees the same rights as permanent staff after 12 weeks of work in the same role, with the same employer, and in some cases increased employment rights from day one.

The regulation covers everything from pay, rest periods and night work policies to annual leave, and gives additional rights to pregnant temporary workers.

Goldteam is concerned that the industry does not know enough about the legislation and is not taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

“With non-compliance resulting in hefty fines it’s vital for hospitality operators to adhere to the regulation, but one of the questions we’re regularly asked is how to comply and how to manage AWR? And some organisations aren’t aware of the regulation,” he said.

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