As the Agency Workers Directive regulations were laid before parliament last week there was a widespread sense of relief that it would not be implemented until October 2011. However, there still remain widespread concerns regarding this legislation and many professional bodies have spoken to Contractor UK to voice these.

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) believe the Directive is “riddled with inconsistencies”. They are also of the opinion that the high costs associated with AWD compliance “will be borne by the contractors who usually earn more than permanent staff but may now get lower rates.”

APSCo chief executive Ann Swain stated: “The exclusion of limited company contractors from the regulations is a huge victory for the professional recruitment sector. Determining whether limited company contractors are genuinely self employed or not is hugely complicated and is not something recruiters will be able to do reliably without detailed guidance.”

Meanwhile the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) are dismayed that despite two consultations last year, industry were not given the final word on the regulations. They believe the directive still has “many anomalies”.

ARC chairman, Adrian Marlow, commented on the reality for workers when the directive comes into force: “The jury must be out until the detail can be seen. We are not jumping to any conclusions.”

The government stated that the decision to lay the regulations before parliament last week stays true to their promise that the AWD would be on the statute book during this parliamentary session. However, they have said that agencies, recruiters and workers now have “time to prepare and plan” before it is enshrined in October.

Source: Contractor UK

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