The FCSA fights for contingent workers in response to lockdown #3

The FCSA fights for contingent workers in response to lockdown #3

Nobody wanted a third lockdown, but after the rising numbers of coronavirus cases and associated deaths, the government was left with very little choice. And, to the governments credit, they have provided several support packages for businesses and workers to help keep the impact of lockdown number three to a minimum. However, one segment always seems to be left behind is contingent workers. And, as a result, the FCSA has taken swift action. Keep reading and find out more.

Who is the FCSA?

The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) is the UK’s leading professional body dedicated to ensuring the supply chain of temporary workers is compliant with UK tax law. They’re highly valued and we do our best to ensure that only FCSA accredited umbrella companies appear on our website.

What’s happened?

The government has unveiled support measures for small businesses and workers in the UK as a result of lockdown number three. For example, businesses in certain industries including leisure and hospitality are entitled to claim a £9,000 grant.

However, Phil Pluck, Chief Executive at the FCSA, has identified shortcomings that the government has failed to address. As always, it seems to be temporary workers who have been left out.

In a recent news post on the FCSA’s site, Phil Pluck explains his views on things as they stand:

“While I support the hard-hit retail and leisure sectors’ targeted financial assistance entirely, I do question whether this will be enough to ensure this crucial industry’s survival. But what about all of the other sectors in our economy?

If you look closely at the details of what the Chancellor has announced, there is nothing new in reality. Small businesses and the self-employed have once again been forgotten, and the furlough scheme as it stands is now unaffordable for many companies and will continue to be so.

It is the latter that I am most concerned about the FCSA members and their contingent workforce at this time; so much so, I have written on behalf of our members to the Chancellor to request swift and serious consideration on implementing a temporary furlough scheme that will make it more financially viable for our member firms to offer the furlough scheme to their contingent workforce.”

He explains his proposal in more depth:

“Removing the financial National Insurance and pension cost burdens within the current scheme would allow them to support employees that qualify for furlough during this difficult time.

While this would still impose a cost on our member companies, it would allow them to continue to support employees, remain financially viable, and be better prepared to support the UK economy as it emerges out of the pandemic.

This approach’s benefits will be for HM Government to avoid social support costs while supporting the longer-term collection of substantial revenue on behalf of HMRC.”

To share his thoughts and the overall views of the FCSA and its members, Phil Pluck has sent a letter to Rishi Sunak highlighting the issues that contingent workers face. The letter also offers a solution – a temporary furlough scheme.

Using Supply Teachers as an example

In the letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Phil Pluck uses supply teachers to showcase the governments shortcomings. Hopefully, this will come as a real eye-opener.

The letter states:

“There are over 100,000 supply teachers providing vital support services to schools in the UK, the vast majority being employed via umbrella companies, some of whom are FCSA members.

If their umbrella employers are financially unable to support them through furlough, then it places those teachers in a vulnerable situation. My members want to support them but to do so under the current scheme would in some cases bankrupt them.

I know this is not the intention of the Government, but it may, in many cases, be the reality.”

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