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FCSA urges Government not to destabilise the flexible workforce as it launches inquiry into the future world of work

Whilst FCSA acknowledges that vulnerable workers in today’s gig economy must be protected by legislation, the UK’s largest independent trade body for accountancy providers and umbrella firms is concerned that the Government’s new inquiry into the future world of work will constrain agency workers and impose more burdensome red tape on genuine self-employed workers.

FCSA believes that the inquiry could hinder the growth of the UK’s flexible workforce which is key to the UK economy as we prepare to leave the EU.  Addressing the Government’s latest plans Julia Kermode, Chief Executive of FCSA said: “I am particularly concerned that the Government is considering constraining businesses use of agency workers.  The Agency Workers Regulations were designed to ensure fair and equal treatment of agency workers compared to permanent employees in similar roles and the Government should not be meddling with how firms choose to manage their affairs.  In the current climate of uncertainty in the UK we should be making Britain an attractive place to do business.  It’s widely recognised that a flexible workforce gives the UK a competitive advantage and this latest inquiry could have a significant impact on this vital group of workers and their important role in the economy.

“Whilst last week’s Uber verdict shone a spotlight on employment, rights and self-employment and sought to protect workers who are being exploited it is going to be very difficult to make sweeping changes without disrupting the entire flexible workforce.  Many people choose to become self-employed and do not want or expect employment rights, nor do they feel exploited.  I would urge the Committee responsible for this inquiry to tread very carefully and find a balance to protect vulnerable workers, penalise unethical employers but allow the UK’s flexible workforce to thrive.”