The DTI has launched a consultation on measures to protect agency staff from exploitation.

Workers will be given information on their employment rights and foreign workers will be warned of unscrupulous practices before entering the country.

They will also be given the right to withdraw from accommodation, transport or other services provided by an agency without any detriment to their position.

The government has announced two pilot projects in London and Birmingham and eased some administrative burdens on agencies to divert more funds towards helping workers.

Jim FitzPatrick, the employment relations minister, said: “The government’s focus is on agency workers who are vulnerable.”