Employment Agency Complaints
The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) is responsible for the regulation of employment agencies and businesses in Northern Ireland through enforcement of legislation governing their conduct. The legislation exists to protect work seekers and employers using such agencies and businesses. DEL carries out routine inspections of all NI-based agencies and investigates complaints against them. DEL has powers to prosecute or apply to prohibit non-compliant agencies and businesses.
The Department can only investigate certain types of complaints or activities that are specified in legislation. A detailed guide to this legislation can be found on the website, and you may first wish to look through this guide, to see whether we can help.
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 - A detailed guide
The types of complaint we will investigate, for example, are:
If you are a work-seeker:
- have you been charged by a employment agency to find you work?
- have you applied for a job, only to be told that it doesn't exist?
- have you had your details forwarded to an employer without your knowledge?
If you are an employer:
- has an employment agency not agreed terms with you?
- have you found an agency advertising one of your vacancies without your consent?
If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ and you wish to make a complaint, you can contact the DEL Employment Agency Inspectors via any of the following ways:
- Online complaint form (PDF 111KB)
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone – the Employment Agency Helpline number is 028 9025 7554 (Mon to Fri 9 am-5 pm)
- Letter – you can also write to the Employment Agency Inspectors at the following address:
Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch
Department for Employment and Learning
39-49 Adelaide Street
If your complaint is not related to any of the examples listed above, there are other government bodies which are responsible for the enforcement of other workplace rights in NI
Gangmasters Licensing Authority - The Gangmasters Licensing Authority is responsible for regulating those agencies who supply labour to the agriculture, forestry, horticulture, shellfish gathering and food processing and packaging sectors, as well as taking action to protect workers in these sectors
HM Revenue and Customs - HM Revenue and Customs is responsible for the enforcement of National Minimum Wage requirements and ensuring that workers and employees are paid appropriately.
RQIA - The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is the body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
If you have an agency-related complaint and you live in England, Scotland or Wales, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is responsible for the regulation of the private recruitment sector in GB.