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Cartel probe focus on Parc

Inquiry into recruitment cartel looks into Taylor Woodrow and its specialist recruitment agency

TAYLOR Woodrow and its specialist recruitment provider Parc are believed to be at the centre of the cartel-busting probe into alleged price-fixing among construction recruitment agencies.

It is believed at least five construction recruitment firms tried to undercut the margins Parc received from Taylor Woodrow to provide staff.

Parc confirmed to Construction News that it has been acting as a managed vendor recruitment provider supplying staff at all levels to Taylor Woodrow for the past two and a half years.

A source close to the Office of Fair Trading investigation alleged the agencies approached the building firm themselves offering lower margins.

It is believed Parc got wind of this then reported the firms to the OFT.

Parc declined to comment on the details of the ongoing investigation. A Parc spokesman said: 'As there is an OFT investigation going on, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.'

The recruitment industry's trade body, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, has admitted it has been helping the OFT with its enquiries after being present at a key meeting of leading construction recruiters in London earlier this year.

Three recruiters, AndersElite, Eden Brown and Hays, have all admitted to being under investigation, and AndersElite has already said it expected to be fined following the OFT probe.

A further two leading names in construction recruitment - one of which is believed to have instigated the approach to Taylor Woodrow - are also believed to have been present at the London meeting.

Taylor Wood row declined to comment.

Any company found to be part of a cartel can be fined up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover.