The troublesome Agency Workers Regulations have been in force for over six months now (see out exhaustive coverage of the good and the bad) but the impact of the legislation, which grants temporary workers the same rights as permanent employees after twelve weeks continuous service, has still not been fully realised.
Before the AWR’s implementation in October 2011 there were predictions of 500,000 contracts being wiped out, however anecdotal evidence has suggested that the impact on the UK’s freelancers and contractors has been negligible. Small recruiters have been shutting up shop or being bought out as they struggle to absorb the additional financial burden of the Regulations, however the situation for freelancers and contractors seems to have, if anything, improved slightly.
Now the PCG have added some colour to proceedings with a poll showing that 77% of freelancers and contractors have not been impacted “at all” by the AWR, while a further 16.3% say they have only been affected “a little” (most likely through a move to an AWR-compliant contract, a limited company or a Swedish Derogation Model solution).
Of the respondents only 6.7% said the AWR had impacted them “a lot”.
The PCG said of the positive result:
“This is encouraging as it suggests that agencies and freelancers have kept abreast of the new rules and are largely aware that the regulations will tend not to apply to them (if they are in business on their own account).”
We’ve reached out to the PCG to get some raw numbers rather than just percentages, and will update this piece when we hear back.
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