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Employment agencies

Employment agencies provide a staff recruitment and selection services to companies.

Agencies are not allowed to charge the job seeker a fee - the employer pays. There are two exceptions to this - entertainment and modelling work.

Agencies vary in the range of jobs they offer.

The vacancies they have may be for permanent or temporary staff. Sometimes, if you are looking for temporary work the agency will employ you – not the company where you are working. In this case, the agency must give you a written contract and pay you even if the company has not paid them.

Anyone can register for work with a private agency.

If you are an agency worker, it's important to know your rights and the rules about the way employment agencies and employment businesses should treat you. After 12 weeks in the job you qualify for the same rights as someone employed directly. This is known as 'equal treatment'. For further information go to GOV.UK.

If you feel you are not being paid properly, call the ACAS Helpline 0300 123 1100.