PRISM, the trade association representing Umbrella Company Employees and other employment intermediaries supplying contracting professionals, is to publish a monthly bulletin. The publication will update readers on political developments concerning laws affecting these agencies and the contractors who work through them.

The free bulletin, Pulse, is intended to foster a greater understanding of the challenges faced today by contracting pros and employment intermediaries.

The first bulletin, August Pulse, will be available for interested parties upon signing up on PRISM’s website. It details the latest political developments in Parliament, drawing attention this month to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s demand for action over Umbrella Companies during Prime Minister’s Questions. In addition, it reveals which MP has raised the issue of travel and subsistence during a Westminster Hall debate.

The publication is described by PRISM as “a bite-size look at everything affecting a sector that continues to see seemingly endless changes to legislation and policy.”

Crawford Temple, PRISM’s Chief Executive, said: “PRISM is constantly monitoring what affects the sector. We are tying all that together for free for the first time so people can take a quick look at some of the most recent developments affecting their business.”

One of the latest developments, in fact, comes from PRISM itself: following the repeated refusal of Government to heed calls for a strategic review of the UK’s outdated tax system, despite significant cross-party Parliamentary support for such an initiative, the trade body now plans to invite an independent think-tank, the Social Market Foundation, to conduct this vitally needed research instead.

PRISM is currently in the process of securing industry sponsors for this review, which it believes is essential if contractors and intermediaries are to have a more stable and fair future.

A major plank in the forthcoming study will be an assessment of whether contracting constitutes a third form of engagement distinct from the two categories currently recognised by HMRC: “employed’ or “self-employed.”

Commenting on the new initiative, Mr Temple said that the contract sector was facing a crucial time that made it essential for companies within the intermediary industry to commission robust research, capable of placing before the Government that offers “independent, sensible conclusions and recommendations.”

He went on: “The contracting sector has been forced to put up with shifting sands for too long, which is no way to recognise the huge contribution made by workers who cement two of the UK’s greatest strengths, namely the flexible workforce and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Those wishing to find out more about the initiative or lend their support can obtain further details on the PRISM website here.

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