In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor George Osborne announced that he would crack down on non-compliant umbrella employers. Orange Genie Group is a member of the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) who’s CEO, Julia Kermode, issued the following response which has been widely reported in the national, regional and trade press.
The FCSA press release reads as follows:
Reacting to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement Julia Kermode, CEO of the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the industry voice for companies providing services to the professional freelance workforce said: “FCSA welcomes the Chancellor’s promise
to deal with those umbrella employers who facilitate the abuse of the employment rights of the UK’s flexible workforce. As a trade body, we have become increasingly concerned regarding recent media reports that unfairly tarnish our sector. Compliant umbrella businesses are important and valuable - it is not the umbrella "way of working" that it is wrong, it is the non-compliance of some umbrella employers
that is wrong.
“FCSA’s members support hard-working freelancers and contractors who deserve to be recognised and celebrated as having an important role to play in the UK’s economic recovery and as the industry voice for umbrella employers who have taken regulation to new levels of professionalism over the last few years we have set ourselves apart from those businesses operating less than compliantly.
“We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and experience with the Government to dispel some of the myths around umbrella employers, help improve standards and stamp out unethical practice in this sector. We are committed to ridding the industry of malpractice once and for all - allowing unethical behaviour to persist is unfair to contractors, recruiters and their clients as
well as the service providers, our members, who behave compliantly and responsibly at all times.
“We know from our lobbying activities that Government and policymakers do not fully understand our sector or fully appreciate the economic value of our sector and we are currently undertaking a research programme that will establish the size and value of the professional umbrella employment sector and the number of freelance workers employed through it. We would be delighted to share the results with Government which I am confident will help steer their decisions so that future legislative changes will not be detrimental to our sector.”
Orange Genie Group’s CEO, Graham Fisher, comments “Compliance is at the heart of our company, we do not believe you can build a sustainable business model based on malpractice and deceit. We joined the FCSA in order to work with other compliant contractor management companies to drive up standards and support government in eradicating these rogue operators. We are fully supportive of the proposed enforcement from government to target these non-compliant companies. Such practice should not be allowed to continue, and we believe it should have been dealt with a very long time ago. Our only wish is that HMRC is given sufficient resource to enforce both existing and any new legislation.”