London, Thursday 8th September 2011 – There’s less than a month to go before the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) come into force on 1st October 2011, yet over half of contractors admit they’ve never heard of them. This is according to the latest contractor survey from http://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk, which also reveals a shocking 88% of contractors contracting via an agency have not been told about AWR by their recruiter.
“Considering the impact that AWR could have on a contractor’s career and livelihood, this lack of knowledge is worrying,” says ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “We also found that 32% of contractors intend to carry on as before post-1 October because they believe the regulations won’t apply to them, which for many simply won’t be the case.” According to government guidance, genuine limited company contractors are not intended to be the targets of AWR but umbrella company contractors are considered to be automatically in-scope.
“The lack of engagement by clients and recruiters is also cause for concern, particularly for umbrella company contractors,” continues Chaplin. “93% per cent of umbrella contractors participating in the survey contract via an agency and of these 89% say their agent has not broached the topic of AWR. With clients, the figure rises to 97%: only three in a hundred clients have engaged with their umbrella contractors about AWR.”
But despite over half of them claiming no knowledge of the regulations, many contractors are planning to take action. Chaplin explains: “We asked contractors if they planned to find out more about AWR and 84% said ‘yes’. When asked how, 23% said they’d ask their agency, 28% plan to look on official government websites and just over a third (31%) will look for guidance on contracting media website such as ContractorCalculator.”
These good intentions notwithstanding, Chaplin is concerned about the lack of agency and client information. In response for the survey’s request for any further thoughts, one contractor’s words were: “My client, a very large international IT company and household name, still seems completely oblivious to the implications of AWR. My agency has still not offered any guidance and told me since our contract is ‘IR35-friendly’, I don’t need to worry.”
“Keeping quiet could be a deliberate tactic by recruiters and clients because contractors unaware of their rights under AWR won’t be making claims for them,” warns Chaplin. “Alternatively, recruiters and clients might be making the right call waiting to see what the courts say about who is in scope once the regulations come into force.”
Whichever it is, Chaplin highlights that ContractorCalculator has a dedicated Special Report area containing the latest news and guidance about AWR. He concludes: “We’re ready to support contractors, clients and recruiters with the information they need from experts on the AWR to ensure the regulations are adopted smoothly once they come into force.”
For the latest news and guidance about the Agency Workers Regulations visit:
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ContractorCalculator.co.uk is a leading independent website for the UK contracting industry. Most contractors are highly skilled knowledge workers in information technology, telecoms, engineering, electronics, and construction.
There are 1.4 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 UK businesses competitive.
ContractorCalculator, which is independently audited by ABC, has over 100,000 unique visitors per month. Its last audit showed the site was visited by 130,682 unique users/browsers in March 2011.
ContractorCalculator offers a wide range of online marketing solutions to suit the requirements of advertisers keen to get their marketing messages in front of over 100,000 contractors and freelancers, and has a suite of free ContractorCalculator guides designed to support online media buyers in their online marketing.
To arrange an interview with CEO Dave Chaplin:
Tel: 0871 218 5152
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