Code of Conduct


1. GeneralIt is a condition of Membership that all members, member companies and employees engaged by them shall comply with the Code of Conduct of the Federation and by the rules and regulations outlined below and any conditions or amendments to these rules as approved by the Federation.2. Subscriptions

It is a condition of Membership that the annual subscription and any levies agreed by the NRF are paid within 30 days of the date they fall due.
3. Licensing

It is a condition of Membership that the individual, agency or company is properly licensed to operate as an employment agency within the terms of the Employment Agency Act 1971 and any amendments thereto.


4. Applicant Handling/Confidentiality

  1. Applicants must be treated in a courteous and dignified manner at all times. Under absolutely no circumstances will an applicant be bullied or coerced by a member company. Their right to privacy must be respected including their right to be interviewed in a private area in accordance with health & safety regulations. Regard must be had to the Employment Equality Acts 1977 and 1998.
  2. All applicants must be interviewed by the agency prior to being put forward to the client. (An interview may be by telephone or face-to-face however if an interview has not been face-to-face the client must be informed.)
  3. Applicants must be given full details of any job for which the agency intends to recommend them and permission must be sought from the applicant. An applicant’s permission must be sought and obtained before his or her details are revealed to an employer. The agency should also determine whether or not the applicant has been approached by another agency about the same job.
  4. References must not be sought without an applicant’s consent.
  5. Members must protect the confidentiality of any information obtained in the course of a recruitment assignment and use such information only for the purpose of staff selection and recruitment.
  6. Where testing procedures are taking place, these tests must be carried out by properly licensed and qualified testers and must comply with normal standards and ethics of test procedures.
  7. Full regard must be given to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 at all times.


5. Temporary/Contract Applicants

  1. Rule 4 shall apply to all applications for temporary or contract employment.
  2. Full details of the work, conditions of employment, method and frequency of payment must be supplied to applicants prior to assignment to temporary employment in accordance with requirements of current legislation.
  3. All payments, tax refunds, benefits and tax certificates must be given promptly to temporary employees when due.


6. Client (Employer) Handling

  1. Members must provide full details of fees, charges, expenses and all Terms and Conditions of Business (confirmed in writing) before proceeding with a recruitment assignment.
  2. Members are not allowed under any circumstances to “poach” applicants whom they have placed in permanent employment without the express permission of the employer.
  3. Members must protect the confidentiality of any information obtained on client’s business in the course of a recruitment assignment and use such information only for the purpose of staff selection and recruitment for that client.

7. Disputes/Complaints

In all cases relating to fee disputes between Members, the Ethics Committee uses the following principles, which take precedence over Members’ Terms and Conditions of Business: The party who will be regarded as the effective cause of the placement (and therefore entitled to the placement fee) is generally the party who has completed all of the following three steps;

  • Interviewed the candidate (telephone or face-to-face);
  • Obtained the Candidate’s permission to release his / her details to that specific Client company for that specific vacancy; and
  • Successfully made an introduction by obtaining the Client company’s acceptance of the Candidate as an applicant for that vacancy.

(Client’s acceptance is defined as an interview between the Client and Candidate, which is arranged by the Member at the request of the client and has actually taken place)

  1. All complaints will follow the standard grievance procedure set out in clause 8 of this Code of Conduct.
  2. All complaints/grievances should be aired through the Ethics Committee.

8. Grievance Procedure

  1. The Ethics Committee is responsible for all grievances brought before the NRF. The committee is comprised of no less than three and no more than four members of the NRF Committee along with an independent arbitrator in appeal situations.
  2. The Ethics Committee can only rule on issues relating to the Code of Conduct affecting members of the NRF.
  3. A complaint brought against any Member of the NRF, for breaking the Code of Conduct must be made in writing as no verbal rulings may be given.
  4. The complainant shall:
    • State the facts upon which the complaint is based.
    • Indicate in detail, which clause(s) / section(s) of the Code have been breached.
  5. The NRF has an important role to play in continuously improving standards within the recruitment industry. Complaints against NRF members whether from applicants, clients or other Members will be investigated at all times.
  6. If they are of the opinion that the complaint is unfounded, the Committee shall have the right to reject the application for Ethics Committee process. In such cases, the Ethics Committee shall give written notice and all reasons for rejecting the complainant’s application for action.
  7. As soon as possible after receipt of a valid complaint, the Ethics Committee shall send the respondent a copy of the complaint.
  8. The respondent shall be given fourteen (14) days within which to submit a written defence to the Ethics Committee. If the respondent is unable to do so within this time period, they must notify the NRF in writing giving reasons. This period may be extended at the discretion of the Ethics Committee.
  9. The complainant and / or the respondent may appeal against any ruling of the Ethics Committee within 10 days in writing together with substantiated reasons for such appeal application.
  10. When an appeal application is lodged, the Ethics Committee must inform the NRF Director and President thereof.
  11. The NRF reserves the right to publish the results of the Ethics Committee’s findings.
  12. A respondent who is an owner, principal, director, member or senior executive of a company, may not plead that he / she is not responsible for the policy of his / her organisation, or the actions of its employees.
  13. If the Ethics Committee determines that the complaint is well founded, it may issue one of the following sanctions:
    written warning;

    • A fine not to exceed €5000;
    • Suspension of Membership for a period not exceeding one year; or expulsion from the NRF.
    • An expelled Member may apply for re-election and may be reinstated at the discretion of the Executive.

9. Advertising
Only real jobs that the Member is authorised to promote may be advertised.

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