It has been reported that David Cameron has sought last minute legal advice to find out what the possibilities are of making changes to the new Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) that are set to come into force on the 1st October.
The freelancers association, the PCG, commented that any changes would be welcomed if it meant the AWR would be clearer and simpler to understand for the 1.4 million UK freelancers.
It is still believed that over 40% of businesses, including recruitment agencies, are oblivious to the upcoming changes. Those businesses have been warned by the PCG that they should prepare themselves for when the new regulations come into play next month.
The PCG had worked closely with the Government prior to the introduction of the AWR to ensure freelancers were out of scope of the new laws. If new changes are made, the PCG have offered their support and guidance to the Government to ensure the laws are as clear as possible to all freelancers.
The PCG’s Managing Director, John Brazier (who we spoke to in our IR35 Podcast) stated:
“Though freelancers who genuinely supply their services as businesses to other companies are exempt from the AWR, any moves to make this as clear as possible are to be welcomed. Freelancers are the UK’s smallest businesses, and the £21bn their flexibility adds to the economy should never be hindered by unnecessary legislation.
“However, it is not clear if any change to these laws is feasible this late in the day, and we will be seeking further information on this from the Government. It is vital that unnecessary confusion is avoided at a crucial time for agencies and freelance workers.
“The Government has said that it intends to review the legislation in 2013, but there have been suggestions the laws could be reviewed next year instead – providing an opportunity to simplify the legislation with ample time to prepare.”