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With the first anniversary of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) approaching next week, staffing firms are still analysing what impact the new rules had on business activities and agency workers.
A new survey by contractor accountant ICS has shown that more than 8 out of 10 contractors are still not completely aware of the AWR.
“Given that a lot of the preparation and build up to the AWR last October was to do with awareness, it is surprising to see so many contractors are still not aware of the regulations. However, for many of them the AWR simply does not apply due to the compliant payment models adopted by ICS and others,” said ICS’ managing director John Lyon.
When asked how aware contractors were of the AWR, more than a third (36%) said ‘a little’ with almost half (47%) saying they were ‘unsure’ what the regulations entailed. Only 18% of those questioned said they were ‘very’ aware of the AWR.
The majority of contractors (69%) have also said that they have had no contact with their staffing agency over the last year in regards to the AWR. A further 29% reported minimal contact whilst only 2% of contractors said they had been in regular touch.
The findings showed that more than three quarters (77%) of those surveyed said they have experienced no problems with their contract, with only 7% reporting that they had to make a change.
Recruitment agencies on the other hand have indicated that the AWR had caused complications while some have deemed it as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘interfering’.
“A lot of the initial concern about potential problems with contracts was dealt with before it became an issue, and the implementation was smooth due to the comprehensive guidance produced, as well as the support of groups like the REC and PCG. We do not predict the situation to become any worse, especially as we are now much more familiar with the regulations a year on,” said Mr Lyon.