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SPA hits out at Government Agency Workers Directive

SPA hits out at Government Agency Workers Directive

BIS response reveals shallow understanding of the professional freelance workforce -

Reacting to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) response to the Agency Workers Directive draft regulations, the Service Providers Association (SPA) calls for greater governmental differentiation between constituent populations of the professional freelance workforce on the basis that current legislation is ill informed.

SPA, which represents companies who provide employment, payroll, tax, accountancy, administrative support and advice to the professional freelance workforce is spearheading a campaign to increase recognition of the different types of worker operating within the flexible workforce.

SPA Chairman, Stuart Davis comments:

That BIS supports the AWD proposition to impose a blanket treatment for all agency workers is revealing of a pervasive misunderstanding of how the flexible workforce operates. While SPA supports legislation that protects the rights of vulnerable workers, we strongly believe Government should make attempts to define what constitutes a vulnerable worker. Even more constructive would be to delineate who is not a vulnerable worker. Understanding the range of populations that work through umbrella companies will allow government to create legislation that encourages, rather than hinders their operations.

It is clear to us that the non vulnerable workers who make up a significant proportion of the flexible workforce do not want these proposed protections, which risk increasing paperwork and overhead costs to undermine the appeal of the flexible worker proposition. Were surprised that BIS the department charged with responsibility for Business, Innovation and Skill - is supporting the introduction of legislation that will stifle some of the most innovative and skillful sectors of the UK economy, dangerously reducing their work opportunities.

This is yet another piece of ill informed legislation that risks undermining the flexible labour market. That it comes during such challenging economic times, when the amount and variety of flexible workers is set to increase is even more unnerving. SPA is pleased to work with all parties involved to establish constructive definitions that recognize the different types of existing freelance workers, facilitating a supportive legislative environment. Establishing these definitions is at the very least, a fitting recognition of the significant contribution that flexible workers make to the UK economy.

SPA have recently launched their industry-leading code of conduct, which outlines the strict standards and legal guidelines that apply to the service providers sector and is designed to encourage best practice across the industry. The code is welcomed by HMRC.


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