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Hays confirms intention to appeal OFT fine

Recruitment consultant Hays has today confirmed it is to appeal its £30M fine for its involvement in the “Construction Recrutiment Forum” price fixing cartel.

In a trading update to the City today, chief executive Alistair Cox confirmed the decision to appeal the fine, which he described as “wholly disproportionate”. In total six firms were fined £40M for anti-competitive activities that took place between 2004 and 2006.

“On 30 September The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued its decision finding that Hays’ Construction & Property business in the UK had breached competition law in the period October 2004 to November 2005. Hays has co-operated fully with the OFT in its investigation under the leniency regime and has been fined £30.4M. The Group will be taking an exceptional charge in this financial year in the region of £25M.

“Whilst Hays take the findings of the OFT’s investigation seriously, we believe that the level of the fine is arbitrary and wholly disproportionate with the activities to which it relates, Hays’ involvement in those activities and the way in which the OFT has dealt with other cases in the past.

“The Group intends to appeal against this decision,” he said.

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