Further evidence has emerged that the Agency Workers Regulations do not appear to be diminishing the demand for PAYE umbrella contractors and other temporary workers.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobsOutlook report for February reveals that there has been a rise in the number of people turning to temporary roles, with many doing so as a stepping-stone to finding permanent employment. However, amongst the ‘temporary total’ are skilled contractors working through umbrella companies, who actively choose such placements because of the work-life benefits.

The REC continues to actively monitor the effects of the AWR and is now working on informing employers of the benefits of hiring tried and tested staff – ie, people who have already worked for them in a temporary position.

The recruitment sector remains resiliently buoyant about the AWR. According to the REC’s Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley: “Although the regulations have created significant administrative costs for agencies, the overall feedback from recruiters remains upbeat with regards to the ongoing benefits that temporary and contract work provides for both employers and job-seekers.”

There has been a discernible shift toward shorter contracts, however. This isn’t necessarily bad news; Mr Hadley continued: “The importance of generating an effective stepping-stone back into the jobs market is especially topical in light of the current debate on the Government’s work experience scheme. Short-term placements can often lead to further opportunities, which are certainly something we are seeing in the temporary work market.”

The latest figures are consistent with findings from the previous month’s JobsOutlook report, which revealed that 82% of employers plan to increase their temporary staff over the coming three months.

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