This commentary is provided for us by Rob Crossland, the ex-IT Contractor boss of top Umbrella Company Parasol.
With the delay of the Agency Workers Directive (AWD) until October 2011, there is at last some relief for Contractors.
Make no mistake, AWD as drafted will have a big impact on Contractors given that Agencies and end-clients would be forced into processes that would at best delay placements and at worse, remove some of the roles available.
But it‘s only a temporary relief, October 2011 is fixed in stone but at least there is time to plan properly and get all our heads around it.
The really ironic thing for Umbrella contractors is that much of what AWD tries to do (equal rights with permanent employees) is already provided by businesses like Parasol.
On the other hand some Contractors don‘t want the same rights as the ‘permie’ but because Europe and UK Government can‘t differentiate between true vulnerable workers and Contractors then everyone is caught.
I would still urge everyone to lobby Government to push the point around understanding the labour market in the 21st century as without continued focus everyone will be classed as ‘vulnerable’.
Make no mistake, I am no advocate of exploiting workers and some of the previous practices are rightly condemned but we seem to be blindly lumping everyone together because Europe don‘t ‘get’ contracting and the UK Government are scared to define anything.