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Jen Ashton

Jen Ashton Senior Programme Manager

Code of Conduct

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ONLINE JOB-BOARD ADVERTISING

November 2012

INTRODUCTION

 This Code of Conduct has been agreed between the Department for Employment and Learning, nijobfinder.co.uk, NIJobs.com and recruitni.com. Following discussions with various stakeholders, this version of the Code now updates and replaces the 2010 version, in order to reflect issues raised; in particular, the posting of jobs which are not currently available.

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ensure that all advertisements placed by Northern Ireland-based employment agencies and employment businesses on online job-boards that have signed up to the Code, comply with legal requirements and do not mislead work-seekers or misrepresent hirers.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION

 Employment agencies and employment businesses which register and/or advertise on online job-boards must, to the satisfaction of the Department for Employment and Learning, comply with all provisions of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 (“the Conduct Regulations”).  Information and clarification on this legislation can be obtained from the Department for Employment and Learning. 

ADVERTISEMENTS

Employment agencies and employment businesses which advertise on online job-boards must ensure that:

1) they have the full authority of the hirer to advertise each and every vacancy placed on the website; every advertisement accurately records the details of the vacancy in question (where rates of pay are mentioned, then the nature of the work, location, experience and qualifications required etc to receive those rates of pay should be stated); and that every advertisement complies with the rest of regulation 27 of the Conduct Regulations. The onus will be on the employment agency or employment business concerned to provide evidence that they have the authority of the hirer for each and every vacancy advertised;

2) each and every vacancy advertised on the website is genuine and does exist.  

3) only current vacancies are placed on the job boards; and

4) once a vacancy has been filled, any advertisement relating to that vacancy must be removed within one week;

5) advertisements should be posted once and for the duration of the vacancy and should not be deleted and re-posted on multiple occasions.  If changes to job descriptions/terms and conditions are required, the vacancy should be amended, rather than deleted, amended and re-posted.

Only one advertisement per vacancy per employment agency or employment business may be submitted to the website. It is preferable that an advertisement for a vacancy is listed under one job category on the website. An employment agency or employment business may, however, advertise a vacancy in up to three categories, where this is necessary to assist work-seekers. Where an employment agency or employment business chooses to advertise a vacancy under additional job categories on the website, these categories must be relevant to the vacancy. It must be clear to the reader that the advertisement relates to the same vacancy.  For example, this may be achieved by use of a unique reference number for each vacancy, or by the employment agency or employment business using a form of words in the body of an advertisement that the vacancy is listed under more than one job category and listing those categories.

Advertisements which do not relate to a vacancy (for example, speculative advertisements which publicise an employment agency) are not permitted to be listed on the vacancies section of a website. Any such advertisement will be removed.

Advertisements which do not comply with relevant legislation or the provisions of this Code of Conduct are not permitted and will be removed.

MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT

 nijobfinder.co.uk , NIJobs.com and recruitni.com have changed the terms and conditions of use of their websites to state that all employment agencies and employment businesses advertising on those websites must comply with this Code of Conduct.

If an online job-board suspects, or receives information, that an employment agency or employment business is in breach of relevant legislation or this Code of Conduct, the job-board will investigate as far as is reasonably practical. Where a breach of either the relevant legislation or this Code of Conduct is confirmed, then the job-board will remove these positions and may, without prejudice, suspend the employment agency or employment business account for a period of 3 months, or upon a repeat offence terminate the advertiser’s contract. Where the job-board is unable to satisfactorily conclude whether there is a breach, then a formal complaint will be referred to the Department for Employment and Learning. The Department has powers to enter and inspect any Northern Ireland-based employment agency or employment business and to prosecute and/or apply to an Industrial Tribunal to prohibit any non-complaint employment agency or employment business.

The Department for Employment and Learning, nijobfinder.co.uk, NIJobs.com and recruitni.com will, where appropriate, regularly share information to assist in the administration and enforcement of this Code of Conduct.

The operation of this Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the Department for Employment and Learning, nijobfinder.co.uk, nijobs.com and recruitni.com within twelve months of the date of issue.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further details on employment agency regulation or information on this Code of Conduct please contact:

Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch
Department for Employment and Learning
Adelaide House
39-49 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8FD

Telephone: 028 9025 7554          

Fax: 028 9025 7555

E-mail: ea.inspectors@delni.gov.uk

Website: www.delni.gov.uk/er

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