Employment agencies and employment businesses

Licences for employment agencies


The majority of employment agencies do not need a licence, but there are some areas of work where a licence is or may be required.

Agencies covered by GLAA licensing rules

If you supply labour or use workers to provide services in one of the following sectors you may need to be licensed by the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA):

  • agriculture
  • horticulture
  • shellfish gathering
  • food processing and packaging

The GLAA regulates the supply of labour into these sectors.

You can apply for, or renew a licence, by telephone or online. Find out about the application process.

Nursing agencies and domiciliary care agencies

If you are setting up or running a nursing agency or domiciliary care agency, you may need to be registered with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) which regulates a range of health and social care services. This covers nursing agencies if you supply registered nurses to work for other providers or nurses or carers supplied to work directly in people's own homes.

Find out about regulated care agencies.

To find out more about how to register, you should call the RQIA Registration Team on Tel 028 9051 7500.

  • Employment Agency Inspectorate Helpline
    028 9025 7796
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