A dedicated hotline should be introduced to allow workers to report bad practice by umbrella companies, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
The hotline is one part of a four-point plan proposed by the REC in a bid to tackle bad practice on the part of umbrella companies. The plans are also intended to help recruitment agencies who make use of umbrella companies to protect the rights of their temporary workers.
As well as calling for an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) hotline, REC has also requested that the government introduce a legal definition of umbrella companies to act as a starting point for new regulations.
Commenting on the plan, Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, stated that the hotline should be the first step in an ongoing government drive to help self-employed workers report abuses so bad practice can be addressed and stamped out.
Mr Carberry said: “Recruiters want a robust and fair supply chain, where workers’ rights and pay are protected and all parties’ responsibilities are clear. Bad-faith umbrella companies have been allowed to thrive alongside compliant businesses for too long.
“It is essential that the government regulates umbrella companies as a matter of urgency to protect both workers and recruitment agencies.”
The four-point plan also calls for new guidance for all REC members to help them avoid working with non-compliant umbrella companies, as well as requesting the clarification of REC’s Code of Professional Conduct and the actions that will be taken against those who break it.
Author: Steven English