The REC has greeted the Agency Workers Regulations, which went live on 1st October, as “a sledgehammer to crack a nut.” Even so, the organisation remains upbeat about the general outlook for highly skilled temporary workers, such as PAYE umbrella contractors, citing data from its latest JobsOutlook report which showed that UK employers are turning to agency payroll solutions like umbrella companies as never before.
The report reveals that 83% of employers plan to maintain or increase their temporary staff numbers in the next quarter, and 86% plan to do likewise over the coming year.
Gillian Econopouly, the REC’s Head of Policy, said “Recruiters, freelancers and hirers all want the same thing: a healthy, vibrant contractor community which is not affected by these regulations, which were designed to protect workers at the other end of the job market.”
The REC has produced comprehensive guidelines to help contractors navigate a viable path through the AWR and has launched an ‘AWR Monitor’, which will collate monthly data from clients and agencies to present a regularly updated picture of how the regulations are impacting.
The stakes are high, according to PCG Managing Director John Brazier – if the AWR damages contractor opportunities, it could “destroy the UK’s competitive edge.” He urged those with any doubts about the directive to consult the REC’s documentation to prevent potential misunderstandings and errors of interpretation.
REC Chief Executive Kevin Green added “AWR implementation will be an ongoing process. We will continue to provide practical support through the Your AWR Advisor programme and the latest AWR Model Documents.”