Whilst FCSA welcomes any move to raise standards and stamp out bad practice it is disappointing that in signing the Minimum Standards Charter Wakefield Council has been won over by UCATT, Unite and GMB Trade Unions and been persuaded that all umbrella employers are unethical, exploit workers and promote bad employment practices.
For some time now, UCATT has pedalled false propaganda and painted an unfair picture of umbrella firms. The truth that they refuse to accept is that umbrella firms provide a valid mechanism to employ contractors with full statutory benefits whilst enabling them to carry out temporary assignments for a number of end-clients.
A surge of contractors were moved to umbrella employment following the 2014 Onshore Intermediaries legislation brought in by Government to tackle false self-employment. Umbrella employment provides a solution, however trade unions refuse to accept their validity because umbrellas are legally required to ensure that tax is paid correctly – both by the employee and the employer.
FCSA acknowledges that there are instances of poor practice, however it is important that the balance is redressed so that the whole sector is not unfairly tarnished and targeted.
FCSA has been asking to meet with UCATT for some time to open up talks and dispel some of the misconceptions UCATT has about the role of umbrellas. FCSA works tirelessly to set high standards, promote compliancy and good practice and it is disappointing that UCATT will not listen. There are many umbrella employers working to the highest ethical standards – like UCATT we are keen to drive out the cowboys in the business who are giving the whole industry a bad name.