As MPs move ahead to investigate umbrella working as part of their review of “The Future World of Work” and following reports by the BBC last week looking at some practices within the sector and a number of worker complaints, Julia Kermode, CEO of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the largest independent representative voice for the sector who took part in the BBC report on Friday, would like to take up Iain Wright MP’s invitation to meet the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee currently conducting the review.
Responding to Iain Wright’s call for someone to come before the select committee, Julia Kermode, said: “We submitted our written response to the inquiry in December last year, and I would be delighted to meet the committee in person to give evidence and justify why umbrella is a positive choice for many contractors. A compliant umbrella employs contractors and provides them with all statutory rights and benefits of permanent employment whilst enabling the worker to fulfil a series of short-term positions and have their financial affairs managed centrally. It is concerning that benefits of umbrella employment are constantly overlooked and that an entire specialism seems to be tarnished with the same brush, so I am keen to redress the balance.”
Kermode is also due to meet Bernard McAulay, national officer of union UNITE following an on-air discussion on BBC Radio Leeds last week, both agreeing that a meeting was long overdue. Added Kermode: “FCSA works hard to promote compliance and ethical practices and I am keen to sit around the table with Mr McAulay, open up talks and work together in stamping out poor practice. Both FCSA and UNITE seek to protect the workforce from exploitation, so I am pleased that McAulay has agreed to meet me.”