The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) inspectorate - which over the past year has boosted its powers and doubled in size - reports it has won back more than twice as much money for workers since April than in all of 2008.
In June, EAS inspectors recovered over £17,000 for four engineers in West Sussex and the workers received £15,000 within three days, with the remainder arriving shortly after.
Business minister Pat McFadden said: "Over the past year we have given the Agency Standards Inspectorate more staff and more powers to protect agency workers. I'm pleased that the bigger, more powerful agency standards team is out there delivering results for agency workers.
"The recession should not be used as an excuse to deny people their employment rights, and the agency standards inspectors are a crucial tool in ensuring this."
Kevin Green, chief executive at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), added: "At a time when many workers are using agencies as a route back into the labour market we must drive workers and employers alike to use agencies that abide by the law and industry standards.
"For many years the REC has argued for better enforcement on the sector and we are pleased to see the inspectorate is taking action."