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Ministerial Foreword Download the Code Amendments to the Code Appendices to the Code

It is well known that some labour providers act illegally, by for example employing illegal workers, evading tax and not paying the minimum wage. A statutory licensing regime for labour providers will be introduced in 2014 and it is expected that by 2006 it will be illegal to operate without a licence.

However, there is general agreement that action is needed immediately. It is anticipated that to a large extent the provisions of the Code will be included in the statutory licensing requirements in due course. Practical experience generated from the implementation of the Code will be fed into the work on the licensing arrangements. Progress towards compliance with the Code will help labour providers prepare for the statutory regime when it is introduced.

The full version of the Code is available in hard copy format and should be downloaded here. Any amendments to the Code will be published here. Most of its provisions simply require compliance with the law. Some of the key requirements are:

* All workers must have a valid permanent national insurance number or be in the process of applying for a number

* Where workers are employed for more than a month there must be written particulars of employment and terms and conditions stating the required notice of termination of employment

* Where deductions from pay are made for accommodation, travel or any other item, other than tax or national insurance, the written consent of the workers must be obtained

* The national minimum wage or where appropriate agricultural minimum wage must be paid

* All workers must be legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom

* Workers must be provided with an itemised pay statement, listing all deductions, including income tax and National Insurance contributions, for each pay period

* There must be no physical abuse or discipline, threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment or verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation

* There should be a written contract agreement with each customer, including terms and conditions such as payments, health and safety responsibilities, disciplinary procedures and the use of subcontractors

* There must be risk assessments conducted by the Labour Provider for all premises to which workers are provided

* Work may be subcontracted only to a labour provider that has committed to comply with the Code

* Income tax and national insurance contributions must be deducted and paid to the Inland Revenue in respect of all workers once earnings reach the earnings threshold during a week or any part of a week

* VAT registration must be maintained if taxable turnover exceeds a threshold of £58,000 per annum in and VAT payments must be made on taxable turnover

* Workers must not be required to surrender identity papers such as passports.

For more information about the Code of Practice you should download the Code and its associated documents, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page and look out for the upcoming regional workshops which will be held to explain the Code and help you prepare for the new legislation.

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