We reported yesterday that David Cameron might be about to make last minute changes to the Agency Workers Regulations, to the benefit of PAYE umbrella contractors and other freelancers. Just how accurate is this suggestion?
The Daily Telegraph recently went even further, hinting that the coalition was about to ditch the EU directive altogether. However, the precise status of the hints circulating in the media remained obscure.
Until, that is, yesterday, when the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills made it clear in a statement to the REC that the implementation of the AWR will indeed proceed to full implementation as planned on 1st October, without further amendment. However, senior officials at BIS are committed to meeting with the REC on a regular basis to evaluate the impact of the new rules on the country’s umbrella companies, limited companies and other freelancers.
Responding the news, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said that, while his organisation would have welcomed any changes that would make life easier for its members, he always considered it unlikely that any alterations could be made at this late stage.
“We have written to the Prime Minister this week to emphasise the need to monitor the practical impact of the regulations on the industry, and we will continue to push for an early review. Our other ongoing priority is to continue helping members to prepare, and to influence how employers respond by underlining the ongoing benefits of a flexible workforce,” he added.
Substantial work has, however, already been done on the regulations to exempt freelancers who are clearly in business on their own account.