Chancellor on Umbrella Companies draws responseAtlantic Umbrella
5 December 2014, Comments 0
The chancellor’s announcement in his Autumn Statement that Umbrella Companies that appear to engage in disguised self-employment will come under renewed scrutiny has met with tactful but firm criticism from APSCo. Addressing the issue of tax avoidance, Mr Osborne said that the use of the Umbrella Company employment model to avoid tax and “deprive people of basic employment rights” such as the minimum wage would come under review. APSCo’s head of external affairs and compliance, Sam Hurley, responded by saying: “APSCo supports any moves to remove abuse and provide a level-playing field; however, it is important that the government does not lose sight of the fact that many of the Umbrella Companies operating in the professional recruitment sector are fully compliant and provide an important link in the flexible recruitment supply chain.” Thousands of skilled independent professionals who use fully-compliant Umbrella Companies to pursue their careers would agree. While welcoming the government’s appreciation of the rise of freelancing and self-employment in the UK, Ms Hurley called for greater recognition of the professional contracting community to be enshrined in legislation. Freelancing and contracting, she said, were driving an ongoing structural change in the labour market and needed firmer recognition. The chancellor’s comments about the success of the UK economy ‒ the fastest growing within the G7 ‒ and the impressive increase in job creation were also welcomed by Ms Hurley as boding particularly well for the UK’s professional recruitment sector; however, she added: “The government must recognise that corporate agility provided by professional, flexible staffing has played its part in the UK’s economic success.”