Plea to Recruitment Agencies from the UK Government

By Joe Towner

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued an appeal to UK recruitment agencies working within the Health and Care sector to work in constructive partnership with the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.

In her letter published on 23rd March, Helen Whately, the Minister of State for Care has called upon recruitment agencies to help them ensure the safety and protection of both health and rights of candidates, patients and other staff as the NHS experiences exceptional heightened demand for additional healthcare professionals. 

What your recruitment agency can do to help

The Department of Health and Social Care is working with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) to put in place a new framework for the recruitment of temporary staff. Your agency can help to support this and play a key role during these exceptional times. 

The demand for agency workers is experiencing a phenomenal surge, yet it will be important to ensure that workers, patients and other medical staff continue to be protected from infection. This is where recruiters can tick vital boxes from the outset of the recruiting process.

There are key factors that must be in place according to the Department of Health and Social Care:

  • Agency workers must be made aware of the COVID-19 guidelines for NHS and social care staff. Find more information, download and distribute the guidelines from here.
  • Ensure agency workers understand the guidance surrounding self-solation.
  • Ensure placement where there is no risk to patients or current staff.
  • For agencies that employ workers - during self-isolation or periods of sickness, ensure agency workers continue to be supported according to statutory sick pay guidelines.
  • Be prepared to recruit replacement agency workers at short notice.

Supporting your agency workers

These are anxious times for key workers and recruiters can support their agency staff by ensuring that they have up-to-date information as the situation evolves. 

Many key workers are worried about the risks for themselves and their families and need advice and support about how to deal with self-isolation. Maintain this vital contact with your agency workers and offer as much support as possible during this crisis. 

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