As reported in The Guardian, the TUC has reiterated it’s stance that umbrellas should be banned. Their comments are in response to the government’s recent consultation on the umbrella market, and plans for umbrellas to be regulated by the Employment Standards Inspectorate within BEIS. According to the article, the TUC is concerned that the proposals mean that independent contractors who are not classed as “agency workers” could still fall outside the scope of regulation, despite being forced to use umbrellas.
The TUC is aware of workers who have said they were denied holiday pay by umbrella companies that did not inform of their rights until it was too late. This is an unethical practice which does unfortunately take place amongst some within the industry.
The TUC also cited abuses such as a locum physiotherapist in London who did not receive pay for five weeks of work from his umbrella company employer. The worker had been forced by the NHS trust to sign up to the umbrella, but neither the trust, the recruitment agency or the umbrella will take responsibility for the loss of wages, the TUC said.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “It has long been clear that our lack of regulation lets dodgy umbrella companies off the hook – allowing them to act with impunity and treat workers appallingly. Tinkering around the edges won’t cut it. It’s time for a ban on umbrella companies.”