• International Workplace
  • 24 September 2018

Agency director ordered to pay back workers after wages were withheld

A director has been ordered to pay wages and expenses totalling £5,145 at a hearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court. The prosecution comes after an investigation by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate – a government body that enforces rights on behalf of agency workers.

National Recruitment Limited, trading as Cotterell and Gifford, withheld wages to two workers for work they did in December 2015 and February 2016. The director was also guilty of failing to provide the right information to his workers when they started their jobs. He has been disqualified from being a director for five years.

Kelly Tolhurst, Small Business Minister, said:

“Workers deserve to be paid for the work they do. We take complaints from workers seriously and will take action against employers that wilfully ignore the law and exploit workers.

“We’re going further to enhance and protect the rights of all workers. In our Good Work plan we have set out new plans to make agency workers more aware of their rights and give them the right to request a more predictable contract.”

The government has recently consulted through the Good Work plan on how best to deliver on its commitment to:

  • provide all 1.2 million agency workers with a clear breakdown of who pays them and any costs or charges deducted from their wages;
  • consider repealing laws allowing agencies to employ workers on cheaper rates;
  • enforce vulnerable workers’ holiday and sick pay for the first time;
  • give workers a list of day-one rights including holiday and sick pay entitlements;
  • introduce a new right for all workers to request a more stable contract to provide greater financial security for those on flexible contracts; and
  • introduce a new naming scheme for employers who fail to pay Employment Tribunal awards, to quadruple Employment Tribunal fines for employers showing malice, spite or gross oversight to £20,000, and consider increasing penalties for employers who have previously lost similar cases.

More information on the Good Work Plan is available here.