With the first anniversary of the Agency Workers Regulations approaching on October 1st, many recruitment agencies are analysing exactly what impact their introduction has had; both on their own business activities and on the thousands of contractors and agency workers they deal with.
For contractors the AWR was expected to cause a big impact on the way they were engaged with clients, which is why both recruiters and contractor service companies, such as ICS, ensured they were fully prepared for the implementation. However, after surveying our contractor clients almost a year after the AWR came into effect, ICS have found that over 8 in 10 contractors are still not completely aware of the Agency Workers Regulations.
When asked how aware they were of the AWR more than a third (36%) of contractors answered ‘a little’ with almost half (47%) saying they were ‘unsure’ what the regulations entailed. Only 18% of those questioned said they were ‘very’ aware of the AWR.
Despite the work of recruitment agencies to ensure that they would comply with the regulations, 69% of contractors reported that they have had no contact with their agency over the last year in regards to the AWR. A further 29% reported minimal contact whilst only 2% of contractors said they had been in regular touch.
However, whilst many contractors appear not to be completely informed about the AWR, more than three quarters (77%) of those surveyed said they have experienced no problems with their contract, with only 7% reporting that they had to make a change.
ICS spoke to a number of recruitment agencies to establish their experience over the last 12 months, and a common theme within the general responses were the words ‘complicated’, ‘unnecessary’ and ‘interfering’. However, only 11% of contractors reported a problem in dealing with their agency in regards to the regulations, with 61% saying they’d had no problem at all.
ICS’ Managing Director John Lyon commented on the findings of the survey, citing the thorough preparation of recruiters and contractor service providers as one of the key successes.
“Given that a lot of the preparation and build up to the AWR last October was to do with awareness, it is surprising to see so many contractors are still not aware of the regulations. However, for many of them the AWR simply does not apply due to the compliant payment models adopted by ICS and others.”
“A lot of the initial concern about potential problems with contracts was dealt with before it became an issue, and the implementation was smooth due to the comprehensive guidance produced, as well as the support of groups like the REC and PCG. We do not predict the situation to become any worse, especially as we are now much more familiar with the regulations a year on.”
ICS are one of the leading contractor accountants and administration companies and have helped thousands of contractors working in a range of industry sectors. We work with a team of experts in employment and tax law to ensure our services are fully compliant with existing IR35 legislation and the latest government regulations, such as the AWR. You can contact us now for a tailored proposal based on your individual circumstances as a contractor.