Liquid Friday: Adding our voice to calls for umbrella company regulation

“We’re really encouraged that calls for regulation of the umbrella company industry have reached something of a crescendo in the past month, and it finally feels like positive steps are being taken towards it.

For too long our industry has been blighted by “bad apples”, seeking to exploit contractors, rob the public purse and put supply chains at risk for their own gain. The private sector IR35 reforms are bringing a further influx of dodgy players, and the time to act must be now. 

We stand with the FCSA in calling for the establishment of a single, independent and well resourced regulatory body which will assure the confidence of other trade bodies, contractors and the supply chain.

Indeed, the Finance Bill debate on Monday 24th May, gave welcome parliamentary airtime to the need for regulation.

There were proposed amendments to the Finance Bill which could have potentially  “curbed or killed” umbrella companies. Although these were not selected to go to MPs’ vote, the very fact there was such a heated discussion on the topic shows that there is Government appetite to bring about change.  

The debate came not long after  a draft policy document was submitted to HM Treasury and BEIS in a bid to speed up progress on introducing regulation.

The document “Umbrella Companies – call for regulation, penned by Rebecca Seeley Harris, a former senior policy adviser to the Office of Tax Simplification, is intended to give Government clear guidance on how to go about regulating umbrella companies and protecting workers employed by them.

It feels like these latest developments have galvanised support and we hope that momentum continues and culminates in effective regulation to allow a level playing field for our industry, and a safety net for workers. “   

Joe Taffurelli

Head of Group Operations
Liquid Friday