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PRISM seeks sponsors for privately-funded strategic review of employment legislation

PRISM has unveiled plans for a strategic review of employment sponsored by the private sector.


PRISM is seeking support for the unprecedented move which will see independent think tank the Social Market Foundation (SMF) carry out an in depth study of modern engagement practices.


Companies across the industry are being invited to back the initiative which PRISM chief executive, Crawford Temple, described as “essential”.


PRISM say it has long complained about the constant changes faced by contractors and employment intermediaries, reflected most recently by restrictions to travel and subsistence relief and proposed IR35 changes.


A key plank of the study will look at whether contracting constitutes a third form of employment - distinguishing contractors from the ‘employed’ and ‘self-employed’.


PRISM is inviting industry sponsors to support the SMF review. For more information go to


Temple said, “This is a crucial time for the sector and it really is essential that firms within the intermediary industry commission the kind of research capable of putting independent, sensible conclusions and recommendations to the Government.


“The contracting sector has been forced to put up with shifting sands for too long, which is no way to recognise the huge contribution made by workers who cement two of the UK’s greatest strengths, namely the flexible workforce and entrepreneurial spirit.”


The white paper by the non-partisan SMF would look at the merits of recognising a third form of employment, establish why workers are engaged in this way and look at how the flexible workforce is catered for abroad. The review would conclude with findings and recommendations for government.


PRISM, its members and supporters will fund the independent study but will have no control over its findings. It is hoped the white paper will lead to changes that bring fairness and stability to employment legislation.


PRISM claims it has always maintained that only a strategic review was capable of establishing facts and insights that would help the Government provide a level playing field for all types of workers. Tax and other legislation still only recognises workers as either ‘employed’ and self-employed’ and PRISM believes this is outdated.


The plan was unveiled at a PRISM event held at The King’s Fund in central London in front of industry leaders on Friday 22nd July.


The trade body has led two campaigns since its inception last year. It stated the first was against T&S changes which largely robbed contractors working through employment intermediaries of the ability to claim tax relief in the same way the self-employed do despite also working at a series of temporary workplaces.


It said the second was the campaign for a Government-led strategic review that won the support of 55 Parliamentarians. It added that in a largely symbolic move, the SNP then backed calls for the review in an amendment to the Finance Bill.

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