The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has made a revision to the CAP Code’s Employment, Homework and Business Opportunities section to reflect recent changes in legislation.

In line with then current legislation, the new edition of the Code launched in September required advertisers to state whether they acted as an employment agency or an employment business. The aim was to ensure that consumers could distinguish between employment agencies, which are a third party that introduces the work seeker to employers offering permanent employment, and employment businesses, which provide employ work seekers directly for the purposes of providing temporary staff.

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Employment Agency Standards have recently reviewed the advertising requirements set out in the regulations. In particular, they examined whether the use of the term ‘employment business’ was easily understood by consumers.

As a result of the Review, BIS decided to amend the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 to require an advertiser to state, in relation to each position it advertises, whether the position is for temporary or permanent work. This replaces the requirement for a statement of whether an advertisers was acting as an employment agency or an employment business. This change came into effect on 1 October 2010. 

As a consequence, CAP Code rule 20.3 has been amended to reflect the new wording of the legislation:

“Employment agencies and employment businesses must make clear in their marketing communications their full names and contact details and, in relation to each position they advertise, whether it is for temporary or permanent work.”

The change will come into effect immediately, although the ASA will have regard to the fact the Code has changed when dealing with any complaints that arise in the coming months.

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