London, April 10--A survey released today by ContractorCalculator, the leading and most-visited independent website for UK freelance workers, shows that British contractors almost uniformly reject the employment rights offered under the Agency Workers Directive.
The survey made during the past two months shows:
• Nearly 100% of contractors say they want to remain as contractors, not become employees
• 91% say that they earn more as contractors
• 75% don't want employee rights
• Vast majority comment that contractor lifestyle is the best.
''It is clear from these results that agency workers as a group in the UK do not desire nor require the protection of employers rights,'' comments Dave Chaplin, chief executive of the ContractorCalculator website. ''Certainly there are a small number of agency workers at the bottom of the pay scale who experience abuse, and protection should be extended to these workers. But a majority of UK agency workers are well-paid, and prefer the flexible lifestyle that contracting affords, as the comments accompanying our survey overwhelmingly demonstrate.''
Contractors responded to the survey question: ''What do you prefer being, a contractor or an employee?'' almost unanimously choosing being contractors as their preference. They also overwhelmingly showed that they make more money as contractors than they would as employees, and that they do not require employee rights. Comments overwhelmingly supported the contractor lifestyle which allows considerably more flexibility than does that of an employee.
Danger of European Legislation:
ContractorCalculator applauds the change to the Agency Workers Bill currently under consideration in the House of Commons in which high-technology contractors are exempted from the legislation.
''But the Commission's Agency Workers Directive, still under consideration by the Council of Ministers, still threatens our industry and would saddle it with an unworkable cost structure,'' Chaplin points out.
The problem at the European level, as Chaplin notes, is that the Directive actually liberalises the regime governing contractors in some European nations. This has brought it support from a majority of Member States.
''But the Commission needs to apply the directive flexibly so that more liberal regimes like that of the UK are not penalised.'
Who We Are?
ContractorCalculator is the leading and most visited independent website for the UK contracting industry--most of whom are highly skilled workers in information technology, engineering, electronics, and construction. Our network of contracting sites receives over 100,000 unique visitors every month.
There are close to half a million such workers in the UK today who prefer to run their own businesses and work under contract rather than become employees of specific companies. Their contribution to the economy is crucial to keeping our business competitive. Our websites have tracked this industry since 1999.
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