HC Deb 08 July 1965 vol 715 cc1796-7
7. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to establish a fixed fee which private employment agencies may charge when placing employees in appointments, or to take such other action as may be necessary to prevent private employment agencies nominating wages in order to secure maximum reward for themselves.

Mr. George Thomas

My right hon. and learned Friend is keeping in mind the possibility of legislation to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention No. 96 on the regulation of fee-charging employment agencies, but he cannot undertake to give priority to it.

Mr. Lewis

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that somewhat encouraging reply. Is he aware that the Government, in regard to their economic policy, should look at this matter very quickly because the present position is that these agencies nominate a fee related to a salary which they nominate from the beginning? Because they nominate a salary, much higher salaries than are justified are paid. This is a built-in incentive to inflation.

Mr. Thomas

The hon. Gentleman can rely on the speed of the Government in the right direction, as at all times.

Mr. Molloy

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the practice which is growing up in some of these private employment agencies of keeping the address of a person whom they have placed in employment and then, when he has been there for a few weeks, writing to him and offering him alternative employment, encouraging him to leave the job which they found for him originally and trying to place another person in that job? This is a very clever little racket which is growing up and to which I should have thought my hon. Friend would pay attention.

Mr. Thomas

I will listen to my hon. Friend, whose accent I so admire.

Mr. Sharples

This is the fourth time in 20 minutes that we have been told that desirable legislation cannot be introduced because of the pressure on Government time. Should not the hon. Gentleman consult the Leader of the House about this and get some of these sensible Measures introduced?

Mr. Thomas

We have our priorities. Of course, I will speak to my right hon. Friend.