PRESS RELEASE: New expert guidance published on eliminating recruitment fees charged to workers

Second edition of the acclaimed, comprehensive and practical toolkit ‘Eliminating Recruitment and Employment Fees Charged to Workers’ now available for free download from

 There is widespread agreement that the charging of recruitment fees to workers is exploitative with the UN-backed Alliance 8.7 stating that, “debt bondage, through the manipulation of debt by employers or recruiting agents affected more than half of all victims of forced labour exploitation”.

An increasing number of businesses and industry groups have now made public commitments to eliminate worker-paid recruitment fees from supply chains, including the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, the Consumer Goods Forum and British Retail Consortium’s Better Retail Better World campaign where, amongst other targets, leading brands and retailers have committed to ‘embedding a policy that no worker should pay for a job’.

Experts at the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit have developed the updated guidance, ‘Eliminating Recruitment and Employment Fees Charged to Workers – A Practical Step-by-Step Guide for Retailers, Brands, Employers and Labour Providers in Global Supply Chains” to support businesses at all levels to implement the necessary systems to eradicate the charging of fees to workers in their operations and labour supply.   Following a year of consultation with business and civil society, the toolkit has been updated to reflect the latest developments and offer additional case studies and practical examples from around the world.

Developed together with the support of key organisations including: the Institute of Human Rights and Business, Sedex, the British Retail Consortium, and the International Organization of Migration, the guidance is free to download from


Hannah Newcomb, Head of Responsible Recruitment Toolkit and principal author of the guidance said, “No worker should have to pay for a job. At the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit, our aim is to enable any organisation no matter their size to implement practical steps to ensure their workers are not paying for their job.”

 Marina Manke, Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development Division at IOM said, “IOM is pleased to support the second edition of the Eliminating Recruitment and Employment Fees Guide . The Guide serves as a valuable resource for workers, recruiters and employers in adopting ethical recruitment practices and closely aligns with IOM’s work in developing the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).”

John Morrison, CEO Institute for Human Rights and Business said, “The member companies of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment have made strong commitments and are working together to support “Employer Pays” models of recruitment. The Responsible Recruitment Toolkit provides helpful guidance on how companies can take the same steps within their own operations or within international supply chains.”

Peter Andrews, Head of Sustainability Policy at the British Retail Consortium said, “We greatly welcome this guidance on Eliminating Recruitment Fees. Through Better Retail Better World, leading retailers are embedding a policy that no worker in the supply chain should pay for a job, to provide a safeguard against debt bondage and modern slavery. This guidance will help all businesses implement this policy.”

 Allison Hudson, Director of Client Services at Sedex said, “Sedex is dedicated to supporting our members in identifying and addressing issues within the supply chain including where unfair recruitment fees are requested to be borne by workers. Many of our members have agreed to adopt the ‘Employer Pays Principle’ and Sedex is committed to partnering with specialist organisations that support businesses to eliminate the charging of recruitment and employment fees to workers.  We are pleased to demonstrate our support to the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit that offers businesses practical and pragmatic steps to embed responsible recruitment practices.”


Organisations can download the guidance for free when they register at