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Labours zero-hours crackdown would fuel umbrella demand

Ed Miliband announced in a speech on Wednesday that a Labour government would legislate to give people the right to a & lsquo;regular’ contract after 12 weeks of working & lsquo;regular’ hours. 

The proposal strengthens Labour's previous policy, which sought to ensure legal entitlement to a regular employment contract after one year of service.

Rob Crossland, founder and chief executive of professional umbrella employer Parasol, said the plan had the potential to boost the contingent workforce management sector. 

He said: “It seems logical that, faced with these proposals being enacted, hirers would look to make greater use of third-party employment providers that free them from the risks and costs associated with taking on staff.

“Employers in many sectors have an inherent need for access to a flexible labour pool, in order to respond to fluctuations in workload and demand. 

“By outsourcing employment of contingent workers to an ethical umbrella provider, organisations can minimise their exposure to risk whilst ensuring that workers are enjoying full employment rights and benefits – including guaranteed minimum hours of work.” 

Rob added: “Given the recent demonisation of our sector by Labour and the trade unions, it’s ironic that we could actually end up benefiting from this policy.

“We have always maintained that professional umbrella employers have an important role to play in the UK labour market, and this policy announcement by Labour goes to prove our point.” 

Cheshire-based Parasol has employed more than 70,000 contractors, freelancers and temporary workers since its launch in 2000. The company is part of the Optionis Group. 



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