HC Deb 14 July 1938 vol 338 cc1492-3
17. Mr. Leslie

asked the Minister of Labour what information the Government have on the general scale of fees charged by employment agencies conducted with a view to private profit; and whether the Government are yet in a position to ratify the Convention of 1933, providing for the abolition of fee-charging employment agencies conducted with a view to private profit?

Mr. E. Brown

The information asked for in the first part of the question is not available. The hon. Member will realise that the fees charged by private employment agencies vary according to the type of agency and the type of employment, and I am not aware of any general scale. The answer to the second part of the question is "No, Sir."

Mr. Leslie

What powers have local authorities to limit these fees which are, in many cases, extortionate and an exploitation of the unemployed persons; and why not ratify the convention which would abolish these agencies within a period of three years?

Mr. Brown

The first part of the hon. Member's question should be addressed to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Mrs. Tate

Is the Minister aware that in many instances these agencies advertise people whom they have not got available in order to collect fees, and in other instances, where there is a surplus of employés, they charge most extortionate fees; and should not this matter be looked into?

Mr. Brown

The question is really one for the Home Office. There is a great variety of these agencies, and there has been a great deal of conflict of evidence about them.

Mr. Day

Is it not a fact that many of them charge as a booking fee?