Employment Agencies Act 1973

The Employment Agencies Act 1973 (c.35) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament and part of a wider body of UK agency worker law . It regulates the conduct of employment agencies which recruit and manage temporary and permanent labor. It applies to approximately 17,000 employment agencies operating in the UK. It was Introduced by a private member’s bill by Kenneth Lewis , member of parliament for Rutland and Stamford . [1] [2]



In its original form, the Act provides for a system of licensing. Each business that was required to have a license that would be denied or revoked if set standards were not followed. The Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz (Employee Hiring Law of 1972).

Regulations prescribing further detailed rules were implemented in 1976.


In 1994, the Conservative Government, in its deregulation drive, abolished the system of licenses with the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 . Instead, enforcement of regulations would rely on the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate .

In 1999 the Employment Relations Act 1999 s.31 with Sch. 7 [3] empowering the Secretary of State to make further regulations affecting agencies and their workers.

In 2003 new regulations Were Introduced, Replacing Those from 1976. The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 [4] [5] Prohibit the charging of fees, except in a small number of mostly art related professions (eg modeling). The additions made in 2003 were few, most important to the candidate qualification checks.

Provisions of the Act

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See also

  • UK labor law
  • UK agency worker law
  • Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004
  • Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment)
  • Robert Owen
  • Labor Office (London) Act 1902
  • Labor Exchanges Act 1909
  • Adams c. Tanner , 244 US 590 (1917), a US Supreme Court Where box has conservative bench, with liberal judges dissenting, Decided That a Washington state law Prohibiting employment agencies was “unconstitutional “.
  • Unemployment Convention, 1919 , after the ILO’s first Recommendation, this call for public employment agencies to be established with a monopoly
  • Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention, 1933 (shelved)
  • Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention (Revised), 1949
  • Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (no ILO Conventions)


  1. Jump up^ “House of Commons Debates 18 May 1973 vol 856 cc1854-74” . Hansard 1803-2005 . Parliament of the United Kingdom . Retrieved 27 January 2012 .
  2. Jump up^ “House of Lords Debates 08 June 1973 vol 343 cc330-50” . Hansard 1803-2005 . Parliament of the United Kingdom . Retrieved 27 January 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ Employment Relations Act 1999 s.7
  4. Jump up^ Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 3319 The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003
  5. Jump up^ see DBERR’sguidanceon the Regulations]

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