The ranks of the UK’s PAYE umbrella contractors could swell significantly if the government takes heed of a new poll jointly commissioned by the PCG and REC.

The ComRes survey took responses from over 2,000 adults and 158 MPs, and revealed that, overwhelmingly, the majority of people believe that the era of ‘jobs for life’ is over. Just over three quarters of the public (76%) and 89% of MPs expressed this view.

Moreover, a thundering majority of those polled believe that flexible working is crucial for promoting economic growth. The government, they believe, should be making it easier for the UK’s employers to take up the flexible workforce approach, a development that would see more people opting for contracting via umbrella companies rather than sticking to permanent posts.

The PCG’s Head of Public Affairs, Simon McVicker, believes the poll shows that policy on flexible working is lagging behind public opinion. He said “We are now calling for a clear and positive response from the Government delivering definitive policy action that will not only allow freelancing to reach its full potential but will be a real help to the UK economy at this time.”

Tom Hadley, the Director of Policy and Professional Services at the REC, agrees. He said “The assumption that all of those working in a part-time or temporary capacity are only doing so because they can’t find full-time work doesn’t reflect reality.” He went to add that individuals embrace flexible working for various reasons and that decision-makers must support and recognise this important tool “to promote much-needed economic growth.”

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