Recruitment agencies and umbrella companies might wish to take note of a new warning from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation in relation to the forthcoming Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), which come into effect on October 1st.  The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has now published its final guidance on the AWR, leaving PAYE umbrella companies and recruitment firms just four months to “plan in earnest” for AWR if they have not already done so.

The publication of the final guidance should act as a “final reminder” to recruiters and umbrella companies to plan for the impact of the regulations, the REC urges.  Gillian Econopouly, Head of Policy at the REC, said that although some welcome changes have been included in the final guidance document, concerns remain about the “Swedish Derogation Model” or “Pay Between Assignments” arrangements.

Ms Econopouly went on to say that further clarification on the provisions for ending a Pay Between Assignments contract would have been desirable, but reminded umbrella companies and others that guidance “does not have the same legal status as the actual regulations”.  “No guidance document will ever provide all the answers,” she said, adding, “What is important now is that agencies work with their clients to assess the likely impact of AWR and put plans in place for October”.

She urged all those affected by the regulations to put in place a clear plan for managing them when they become law in four months.  By doing so, disruptions can be minimised and positive advantages created for all agencies who can demonstrate their understanding of AWR.

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