Employment Agency Standards...?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Employment Agency Standards refuse to:

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(A) Enforce their (6Apr08) new 7-day cooling off clause

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(B) Make it a legal requirement to tell applicants they have such rights

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(C) Prosecute those who set up multiple agencies; just to de-fraud victims

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(D) Prosecute agencies for none complience/criminal offences

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.In order for a 'business' to come under BERR Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Regulations, that business (Agency) has to offer a work-finding service

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Look at the two almost identical adverts below... Which one is by a work-finding 'agency' and which one is by a firm of 'photographers'...?

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Spot the difference???

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See below sign 'auditions' would it be from a firm of 'photographers' or a work-finding 'agency'

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If you had the below 100% money back clause in your contract, would it be from a firm of 'photographers' or a work-finding 'agency'.

6. "In the event of the Client requesting a refund under the money back guarantee offered by 1st Class after 1 year from the Contract Date (in the event of the Client not having been offered a place by at least 1 of the suggested agencies on the list supplied in the agency application 'starter pack'), the Client shall produce to 1st Class reasonable documentary evidence that the Client has correctly applied to at least 2 of the suggested agencies on the said list no later than 6 months from the Contract Date together with reasonable documentary evidence of non-acceptance by the agencies applied to."

Would a firm of photographers insist you sign such a contract for their services?

Clearly 1st Class Trading Ltd/Images do come under EAS Regulations, since they offer a guarantee of a work-finding service or a full refund of your money.

Model Factor, are exactly the same people - who also run 1st Class Images.

So you pay a fee to 1st Class Images of £249.00, just to be put in touch with Model Factor, who then charge £99.99.

This amounts to FRAUD!!!

Click: ErikChandler=1stClass/ModelFactor=West1/HiddenTalent

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---oooOooo---

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Employment Agency Standards (EAS)
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The
EAS is a department in the renamed Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) previously called Dept of Trade & Industry (DTI).
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Employment Agency Conduct Regulations are supposed to offer the public and performers; a minimum standard of fairness
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The current head of the EAS is John Thorpe, he is ultimately responsible for drawing up any changes in the regulations; he is also responsible; if the regulations fail the public and performers.
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His second in command in the EAS is Steve Keeler, he is the so called Investigation Manager; it is his job to investigate every complaint brought to him; and to pass it over to one of his inspectors to follow up; if necessary.
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But in practice very little is investigated; and
no prosecutions take place for taking money under false pretences…
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The current government minister responsible for the EAS is Patrick McFadden; his title is Minister, Enterprise, Deregulation & Competition.
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The Shadow opposite number, Conservative, is
Mark Prisk. Unlike the government Minister, Mark Prisk has been very active in finding out what the real issues are; and how to put in place regulations that will stop the unfair exploitation.
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The government talks about minimum standards of fairness; but in reality the word minimum means – no standards whatsoever…
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Even the phrase “Up-Front Fees” currently has no legal meaning, according to John Thorpe’s e-mail to me dated 30 November 2007:
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“It is not for EAS to define what an up front fee is - such a term is not included in the regulations. EAS will look at each matter on a case by case basis and where necessary seek compliance with the law. It is ultimately for the Courts and Tribunals to determine the application of the law.”
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This is the first time that the EAS have actually spelt this out. Previously (for years) the EAS have been
hiding the true position; it took the EAS a month to reply to this direct question...
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So why did Gerry Sutcliffe the then government minister responsible, state on 15th December 2003:
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“Agencies will no longer be allowed to charge UP-FRONT FEES before they find work for actors, models and extras - any fee will be chargeable only out of [their] earnings”
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Click Hansard: Parliament 15Dec2003
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When he clearly knew that there was NO such legal definition???
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So it is ultimately for the Courts Tribunals to determine what is an up-front fee???
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But…
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Has the
EAS ever taken such a case to law???
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The
answer is no; of course…
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The EAS had to admit that it has
never taken a case against an agency; for taking money under false pretences...under false pretences!

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Click: DTI Have to Apologise - 5May06

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Guess who forced the government minister into admitting this fact???

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You see, the EAS tries to bury each and every complaint; the EAS is it’s own judge and jury; they make it up as they go along; sadly...
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So, despite all the many complaints I receive; the
EAS will do nothing. The biggest rogues as far as I can see, are those at the EAS - for not stopping all these scams.
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I really do wonder how these DTI officials can sleep at night knowing that they are personally responsible for such scams. Anybody with an ounce of commonsense would agree that you cannot reward these scam agencies - for failing to look/find you work!

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You will no doubt have heard the expression - that although the lights are on; nobody is in? Well that’s exactly what is happening within the so called – BERR EAS.
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This is what happens, when BERR Ministers refuse to find out what is really happening; where civil servants are allowed to make it up as they go along; and are answerable to no one. Commonsense is in very short supply – at the EAS!

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The acting and modelling professions are tough businesses to succeed in, without these widespread up-front fee scams, where nobody has to bother to find you work. Well why should they! They already have your money! What fool would then spend time effort and money banging on doors – trying to get you work? Of course there are no guarantees of work, is what they say, before demanding a fee…

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There must be some incentive for these agents to find you paid work; currently there are none...

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Legitimate agencies do not charge up-front, because they know they can find performers actual work and will then charge a commission out of that paid work; now what can be simpler? Agencies should not take on would be performers, if they think they stand little or no chance of work. By only allowing an agency to charge a fee out of the performer’s earnings; would ensure that agents were rewarded for success; not for failure!

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Those with talent, training and determination would then stand some chance of success. . .

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The latest wheeze by the DTI – at the end of yet another consultation, is to: Give a 7 day cooling off period for fees paid at hotels, which in effect gives ‘scam’ agencies the opportunity of taking post-dated cheques.

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What about all those Internet scam agency websites; they will not go away; they will increase & increase!!!

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I asked the EAS to introduce agency licencing; but only for those in the entertainments industry; this is what the government said, also on 30 November 2007:
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“The Government is not minded to consider setting up a statutory licensing scheme for employment agencies. When licensing was in place (between 1976 and 1995) visible and compliant agencies were licensed by the Department but this did not prevent "wrong doing" by agents or so called scams.”
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What the EAS fails to state that the
only reason why the previous licencing regime failed; was that there were no punitive regulations in place at that time to compliment licencing; to stop the abuse…
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At least with licensing; we could have identified who was running these scam agencies; we would have known where they were operating from; we could have revoked their licence; if there was wrong doing!!!
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Is there absolutely no one in the BERR EAS; with any common sense???

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Currently performers are classed as workers under (NMW) National Minimum Wage Regulations...

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But the EAS of course do not think that agencies should be bothered with such niceties...

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You see agencies currently can take your whole days earnings; in agency fees; where you still owe money to the agent!!!

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I have been contacted by one performer who had no work until the 3rd year; the agent then took 3 years worth of book fees. Is this what the governments calls minimum standards of fairness...

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Every other 'worker' - in the whole of the UK; has a legal right to the NMW; but those who work as a performer; have no such rights...

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Click: National Minimum Wage

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I rest my case...

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How to recognise a scam; well if only the EAS could...

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The EAS never take out adverts to publicise their existence...

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I wonder why this is???

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Well let me help the EAS...

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If you have a complaint then here's how to contact the EAS:

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Click: BERR Employment Agency Standards

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Do NOT be put off if the EAS ask you to be named as the complainant; this is normally just a formality; in most cases they cannot take up your specific complaint; unless they actually mention your name...

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Do not be put off if the EAS state they cannot get you a refund; remember this is a ploy by the EAS to fob you off; from making a complaint in the first place...

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There is nothing to stop them doing so...

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Demand action!

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Do not accept the typical excuse; that the EAS cannot investigate fees; that are taken under false pretences...

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That is complete rubbish...

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There is nothing in the EAS Regulations; to stop them doing so!

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Remember...

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the EAS allow this up-front fee loophole to exist; blame the EAS if you are conned into paying an up-front fee; they are to blame...

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These scam agencies just exploit this loophole in the law; don't just blame them; blame the EAS; blame government ministers...

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Don't let the EAS get away with it...

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Remember, it is in many cases - babies, children and teenagers who are specifically targeted; by all these con artists...

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NO WORK - NO FEE...