Contractors working through umbrella companies or limited companies should continue to see demand for their services remain stable or even rise, as a huge majority of employers plan to maintain or boost their use of temporary staff over the next quarter.

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s latest JobsOutlook Report, 83% of the employers polled intend to retain or increase their temporary staff over the next three months, even as the 1st October implementation date for the Agency Workers Regulations draws nigh. Nearly a quarter of the respondents (22%) say they will definitely increase temporary staff, which should bring cheer to many a jobbing PAYE umbrella contractor.

Concern has been mooted in some circles that the AWR will discourage employers from using temporary staff (the regulations grant temporary workers the same basic employment rights as permanent staff after 12 weeks). The REC’s evidence flatly contradicts this view, and not just over the next three months. 86% of the 600 employers surveyed said they would maintain or increase their use of temporary contracts over the next twelve months as well.

People looking for permanent posts face a somewhat gloomier prospect, however, with the number of employers planning to take on more permanent staff tumbling from 67% last month to 53% in September.

The REC’s Director of Research, Roger Tweedy, said “This month’s marked dip in both business and consumer confidence has put the brakes on the jobs market. Yet, despite the imminent introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations, employers are still looking to build flexibility into their workforces while an overall air of uncertainty prevails in the jobs market.”

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