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Law: Legal obligations of Recruitment Agencies

All Recruitment Agencies must be licenced

The Minister of Trade, Enterprise and Employment provides licences for Recruitment agencies under The Employment Agency Act, 1971. No Recruitment agency may legally operate without one.

The most pertinent points of the act are:

  • A Recruitment Agency may not charge a jobseeker for finding them a job
  • A Recruitment Agency may not charge any fees in excess of a scale approved by the Minister

The Data Protection Act

A Recruitment Agency may not send your CV forward to any company without your expressed consent.

Joining a recruitment agency counts as expressed consent in most cases. Even if you are not asked to sign anything the recruitment agencies terms and conditions usually cover this.

Interesting case studies from the Data Protection Commissioner

Other Relevant Laws

Recruitment agencies are also subject to the full range of laws that govern all companies. Of particular interest are:

Are there any regulatory bodies for Recruitment Agencies?

The National Recruitment Federation (NRF) is a voluntary organisation and has been in existence since 1971.

The National Recruitment Federation has formulated a strict code of conduct that all member agencies must abide by. These include the legal requirements above but go much further in order to fill some glaring gaps left in our current legislation.

Since it is a voluntary organisation Recruitment Agencies are under no obligation to join and follow the code of conduct. That is why this directory shows NRF membership with each agency.

The National Recruitment Federation Website is http://www.nrf.ie