Lion and Lamb Lie Down Together
Unknown to most contractors, the Professional Contractors Group and the agent’s representatives ATSCo, have been having talks on how agents and contractors can co-operate further. They are looking to see how they can take some of the sting out of some of the current relationships.
It’s long been argued that contractors and agents are in the same boat, and that they should co-operate more to their mutual benefit instead of constantly throwing abuse at each other.
One area where co-operation would be very useful would be if they were able to develop a standard contract that was as far outside IR35 as it could possibly be. This would obviate the need for tens of thousands of contractors across the country trying to get IR35 clauses inserted into their contracts.
Code of Conduct
Another area where agencies and contractors could co-operate, potentially, is in having a joint Code of Conduct and disciplinary process for agents who get up to ‘dirty tricks’ like spamming for references. Readers may remember our archived article on “”The Ten Dirty Tricks That Agents Play on Contractors””.
ATSCo actually have a Code of Conduct for their members but it is little used, basically because few contractors know about it. Even if they did, most contractors wouldn’t believe that agencies would police themselves properly.
However, if there was an agreed joint Code of Conduct and an agreed escalation and disciplinary process, then contractors could raise their complaints with the PCG who could then represent them to ATSCo, who would then look at the evidence and take the appropriate action.
Often those who own or run agencies don’t know what dirty tricks some of their employees get up to when they are desperate. The majority of decent agents would like to see these rogue agents run out of the profession as it hurts their relationships with contractors, and takes business away from them.
We look forward with interest to the outcome of the talks. It could sort out many of the disagreements between contractors and agents.
They successfully co-operated to get rid of the Fast Track Visa system.
The PCG have truly taken on board the need to co-operate with agents, the government and the Inland Revenue for the long-term benefit of contractors.
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