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Employment Legislation

Reforms To The Employment Agents Industry

The Fair Trading Ammendment (Employment Placement Services) Act 2002 and the Fair Trading (General) Ammendment (Employment Placement Services) Regulation 2003 commence on February 17 2003. This Act and Regulation have the effect of repealing the Employment Agents Act 1996 and amends the Fair Trading Act 1987 to include new and improved consumer protection measures to job seekers in NSW.

Although it will no longer be a requirement for an employment placement service to be licensed, they will be required to comply with the amendments in the Fair Trading Act 1987. These provisions prohibit an employment placement service from charging a job seeker a fee. The maximum penalty that may be incurred for breaching this provision is $5 500.

The new amendments provide for the prescription of information standards that the employment placement service is required to provide to the job seeker in a written notice.

The following information is to be set out in the written notice;

• an employment placement service must not charge a job seeker a fee for the purpose of finding the job seeker employment;

• an employment placement service must not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct (such as advertising a position as being available when the agency knows no such position existsor knowingly giving misleading information to a job seeker about the nature of a position);

• if a job seeker believes that an employment placement service has acted inappropriately, the job seeker may contact the Department of Fair Trading for information on possible action that may be taken.

Should you have any questions in relation to this matter, please call the Department of Fair Trading on 133 220.