While the Agency Workers Regulations appear to have left skilled PAYE umbrella contractors relatively unscathed in spite of dire warnings from some experts, it seems that misleading myths about the legislation are starting to proliferate among some recruiters. The PCG has moved to dispel some of the wilder rumours and has published a list of the ‘five most-heard AWR myths’ – and shreds every one of them.

For example, there is no truth in the claim that, post-AWR, all contractors must work through umbrella companies. While those who do have nothing to fear, recruiters can also work entirely successfully with contractors from limited companies, which can also be safely beyond the scope of the legislation.

Moreover, AWR will not, as has been claimed, make contractors more expensive, nor will it mean that all liability must be transferred to the contractor in new contracts. It is also false that giving contractors full access to all facilities – which is much easier to administer – will automatically place them in AWR’s scope.

The PCG has produced a guide for contractors and recruiters to clarify exactly when the regulations do and don’t apply to contracting. Drawn up by academics, lawyers and industry experts, the guide is designed to help recruiters, and HR staff especially, to capitalise on the input of skilled contractors.

John Brazier, PCG’s Managing Director, said: “Let’s be very clear, the AWR itself is not intended to apply to freelance workers in business on their own account.”

He added that the new guide is “…vital to ensure that those working with freelancers on a day-to-day basis have the confidence to conduct business as usual.”

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