In April 2020, the government introduced the Key Information Document for all agency workers. Despite clear and detailed guidance, there is today a great deal of misinformation regarding what compliance measures recruitment agencies must take. As a result, SafeRec.co.uk sought clarification directly from the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS), part of the Department for Business and Trade. The aim was to gain essential insights into the Key Information Document and answer most questions we receive every week from recruitment agencies we work with.
It’s important to note that if your agency is unfamiliar with what a Key Information Document is, it’s highly likely that you’re not in compliance with The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (a.k.a. The Conduct Regulation).
Therefore, we strongly advise you to read these articles before reading the following answers from the EAS:
1. The official guidance from www.gov.uk
2. SafeRec article on “What is a Key Information Document?”
1 | Which worker must receive a Key Information Document from their recruitment agencies? Is it only for Umbrella Company workers?
Department for Business & Trade (DBT): All temporary workers, whether PAYE, PSC or any variation of Umbrella contracts, should receive a Key Information Document (KID) before they are engaged by the Employment Business.
2 | Which organisation must send the key information document?
DBT: It is the Employment Business’ responsibility to provide Key Information Documents to work-seekers. They can rely on information provided in writing by 3rd parties such as Umbrella Companies to prepare their KIDs, but they cannot defer their responsibility for issuing KIDs to a third party. It must be the employment business that issues the KID to the work-seeker, and they should keep a record of all KIDs issued to a work-seeker for at least 1 year from the date they last provided services to that work-seeker.
3 | Some companies create Key Information Documents and set deductions as “If Applicable” (e.g. Employee Deductions: Student Loan if Applicable). Should the Key Information show all deductions that could apply to the worker or only those that actually apply?
DBT: No, the Key Information Document (KID) should only include those deductions that will occur rather than those that may occur. The Employment Business should look at what is a common deduction and apply this to the KID. A Student Loan deduction, for example, should only be included if it applies to the work-seeker that could be engaged by the Employment Business.
4 | We see agencies showing on their website copies of generic Key Information Documents. Does this practice help in any way fit with what is required in the conduct regulation?
DBT: Pointing work-seekers to a webpage will not satisfy the responsibility of the employment business to issue a KID. They either need to give the KID in person or send the KID to an address provided by the work-seeker (by post or electronic means).
It is useful for employment businesses to create generic KIDs that cover engagement conditions for the majority of their workers. This should make the onboarding process easier. However, where a work-seeker presents additional information, e.g. a student loan, this should be represented on the individual’s KID.
Employment businesses are able to present more than one KID to show options for methods of engagement if they wish but must issue a finalised KID reflecting the chosen method of engagement before terms are agreed.
If there are any changes to the information required for the KID after terms are agreed then a revised KID should be issued no later than the end of the fifth business day following the change and should state the date on or after which the change takes/took effect.
5 | Some agencies send Key information Documents with the national minimum wage on their Key Information Documents. What is the Department for Business and Trade’s view on this practice?
DBT: We will accept the National Minimum/National Living Wage as a rate of pay as it refers to specific amounts set by the Government every year. By using this wording, it removes the need to update specific amounts each year, reducing the admin burden. We also accept this form of words (or similar wording) in terms agreed with work-seekers by Employment Businesses.
However, the employment business should make sure that it uses a value that is an approximation of what it actually is able to achieve and not the national minimum wage by default. For example, if the minimum rate of pay that they are generally able to obtain for their work-seekers is £15 per hour, then this should be used as the rate of pay in the examples on the KID.
6 | A contract has decided to ‘Opt out’ of the protections that the legislation offers. Do they need to be given a Key Information Document?
DBT: Yes, they do. The legislation sets out that even if the work-seeker is a PSC and intends to ‘opt out’, a Key Information Document must be provided to them.
We hope these comments will clarify things for Recruitment Agencies.
If your agency has any questions about the Key Information Document, please do not hesitate to contact the employment agency standards inspectorate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your agency is seeking to become compliant or considering an automated solution to generate and send Key Information Documents, you should try Saferec KID Generator.