Legal and regulatory framework

Understanding the Legal Framework

  • The recruitment industry operates within a set of legal rules and regulations that safeguard the interests of both candidates and employers.

  • The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides employees with various rights including the right to a written statement of terms and conditions of employment, and protection against unfair dismissal.

  • The Equality Act 2010 is a key piece of legislation in recruitment. It prohibits discrimination in respect of the ‘protected characteristics’: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

  • The Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 regulates the conduct of both employment agencies and businesses.

  • The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) impacts how recruiters collect, store, and use the personal data of candidates.

Understanding the Regulatory Framework

  • The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for the UK recruitment industry. It provides best-practice guidance, legal advice, and training to recruitment agencies.

  • Companies, recruiters, and hiring managers must follow specific rules and procedures when advertising for a role, including accurate representation of the role and avoiding discriminatory language.

  • Ethical considerations are fundamental in recruitment, covering areas like candidate consent, transparent communication, and confidentiality.

  • Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) provide agency workers with entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly.

  • Regular changes and updates mean that recruiters need to keep up-to-date with the latest legal and regulatory changes in their market. Continuous professional development (CPD) is a key aspect of this.