The Department is responsible for regulating the conduct of employment agencies and businesses in Northern Ireland.
The Department can enter and inspect the premises and records of all employment agencies and businesses in Northern Ireland to ensure compliance with the Regulations. Inspections are carried out routinely or upon receipt of a complaint. Serious or repeated breaches of the legislation will be prosecuted and in some cases, we may seek to prohibit an agency from operating.
Agents who are currently prohibited by EAI from operating in Northern Ireland
|Name of Prohibited Agent||Name of Agency||Sector||Prohibited from||Prohibited until|
|Patrick Duncan||'Dealers Agency' (Belfast)||Actors / Entertainers||28 October 2011||27 October 2019|
|Glyn Davies||Formerly t/a 'Lothian Variety' and 'Emkay Lothian Entertainments' (Lothian, Scotland)||Entertainers / Models||13 June 2011||12 December 2020|
Agents permitted to run or be involved in running an employment agency or employment business in Northern Ireland subject to certain conditions being met.
|Name of Prohibited Agent||Sector||Conditions apply from||Conditions apply until|
|Mark McCrory||Actors||26 March 2010||25 March 2015|
|Susan Davies||Entertainers / Models||13 June 2011||12 December 2020|
For further information on these conditions please contact the EAI via the details at the bottom of the page.
The fourth EAI report on private recruitment sector enforcement has now been prepared and covers the period of April 2011 to March 2012.
The third EAI report on private recruitment sector enforcement covers the period of April 2010 to March 2011
The second Departmental report on private recruitment sector enforcement covers the period of April 2009 to March 2010.
The first Departmental report on private recruitment sector enforcement covers an extended period of Jan 2006 to Mar 2009.
Should you wish to make a complaint
Customer Service Standards
You can find out more about the service standards you can expect to receive from the Employment Agency Inspectorate here.
You can find out more about what you can expect from our Inspectors, from any inspection of your agency records, or from an investigation of a complaint here.
All employment agencies and businesses must comply with the:
- Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1981 (as amended);
- The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005.
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (NI) 2005
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2008
- The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010
In the main the Regulations require employment agencies and businesses to make more detailed checks on their clients to ensure that they are suitable for vacancies; tighten controls on client accounts; clarify requirements to keep records and tighten restrictions relating to charges and fees.
The Department consulted in 2007 and 2009 on the proposals to amend the 2005 Conduct Regulations. These consultation documents are still available for download. The Department published detailed analyses of these consultations and the Departmental Responses to these were published in early 2008 and mid 2010. The amending Regulations came into operation on 6 April 2008 and 1 December 2010, respectively.
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005: A Detailed Guide
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008: Guidance
The Department has recently produced the following information in relation to Models and Would be Entertainers and Drivers Working via Employment Agencies Employment Businesses:-
- Information for: Would be Models and Entertainers - Top Tips
- Information for: Drivers Working via Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses
- Code of Conduct for Online Job Board Advertising
We have also produced the following guidance in relation to the Regulations:-
- Frequently Asked Questions for Work-Seekers available in English, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese.
- Frequently Asked Questions for Agencies
Private Recruitment Sector Research
Due to the continuing development of policy and legislation in relation to the Private Recruitment Sector, the Department considered that research into this sector was essential.
As there had previously been no specific local research into the size and nature of the Private Recruitment Sector in Northern Ireland, the Department anticipates that this report will be an important step towards better informing future policymaking and improving the Department’s ability to meet the needs of Northern Ireland’s agency workers, agencies and hirers.
The Department will use these findings in policy areas that affect the private recruitment sector, such as the proposed amendments to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005, and in the implementation of the Temporary Agency Workers Directive.
The findings of the report will also assist the Department’s Employment Agency Inspectors in increasing protections for the Private Recruitment Sector’s most vulnerable workers in Northern Ireland. Final Report
Contact UsEmployment Agency Inspectorate (EAI)
Department for Employment and Learning
Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch
39-49 Adelaide Street
EAI telephone helpline: 028 9025 7554 (Monday - Friday 9-00am - 5-00pm)