Contractors working for umbrella companies may capitalize on what one expert has a called a “transitional jobs market” in the UK, as two new surveys present a mixed picture of the prospects for economic recovery.
The Federation of Small Business’s regular “Voice of Small Business” recently revealed that confidence amongst small business owners has increased. However, it also showed that a majority of them are refraining from taking on new staff and a small proportion of them actually plan to cut staffing levels.
The survey hardly makes happy reading for Government ministers, who are relying on the private sector – and especially SMEs – to drive the economy forward and create more jobs. The FSB believes that more must be done to encourage and strengthen small businesses, including the extension of the National Insurance Contributions holiday to micro-businesses. Many individual contractors working through their own limited companies would also welcome such a move.
Meanwhile, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s latest “JobsOutlook” indicates that less than a quarter of employers (23 per cent) plan to take on any additional permanent staff in the coming quarter, although 64 per cent do not envisage having to cut their existing permanent workforce any further. Intriguingly for the jobbing PAYE umbrella contractor, 93 per cent plan to maintain or actually increase their present use of temporary workers, including contractors, in the near term. Moreover, 81 per cent of those polled said they would do so on a long-term basis.
The REC’s Director of Research, Roger Tweedy said that the UK’s jobs market was in transition, with more businesses relying on temps and contractors than previously.