AWR now in force, but what does the REC really think?

(2 minutes to read)

It can’t have escaped many umbrella contractors’ notice that Agency Workers Regulations became a reality this week. It’s also no secret that the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the PCG have had their concerns. But even so, the REC remains positive about how AWR will affect highly skilled non-permanent workers such as umbrella contractors. In fact, looking at data from its latest JobsOutlook report, it seems that UK employers are turning to agency payroll solutions like umbrella companies even more enthusiastically than before. The report also showed that 83% of employers plan to maintain or increase the number of non-permanent staff in their workforce over next quarter and 86% plan to do the same over the next 12 months.

We’re pleased to see that the REC has produced comprehensive guidelines to help umbrella contractors navigate successfully through AWR and has also launched its ‘AWR Monitor’. This will collate monthly data from clients and agencies to present a regularly updated picture of what impact regulations are having. Looking at the wider aspects of the situation, the REC’s Head of Policy Gillian Econopouly said, “Recruiters, freelancers and hirers all want the same thing: a healthy, vibrant contractor community which is not affected by these regulations, which were designed to protect workers at the other end of the job market.”

PCG Managing Director John Brazier also commented the AWR damages contractor opportunities, it could ‘destroy the UK’s competitive edge’ and he urged umbrella contractors with any doubts about the directive to consult the REC’s documentation to prevent potential misunderstandings or ‘errors of interpretation’. REC Chief Executive Kevin Green added, “AWR implementation will be an ongoing process. We will continue to provide practical support through the ‘Your AWR Advisor’ programme and the latest AWR Model Documents.” We’re just pleased to see that everyone is taking it so seriously and has put actions in place to help umbrella contractors as much as possible!

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