By Claire West

The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has today cautioned Ministers that a lack of clarity around the Agency Workers Regulations risks undermining the UK's freelance workforce, potentially harming the UK's recovery from the recession.

The call follows the Association's decision to seek formal legal advice on behalf of its members regarding the impact of the planned Agency Worker Regulations. FCSA members provide employment solutions, payroll, and accountancy services to over 50,000 professional freelancers in the UK, giving the administrative support that keeps the country's freelance labour market working competitively.

Commenting, FCSA Chairman Stuart Davis says:

"It is now clear from this advice that there are a number of other issues behind the scenes of the flexible labour market that could impact on freelancers. There are very serious questions that need to be answered about under what circumstances workers can claim to be genuinely self-employed or not and what information freelancers can use when choosing their model of working.

"Without clarification these questions will naturally lead to uncertainty for freelancers and so risk undermining the smooth operation of the freelance workforce. That workforce is the engine that has driven the UK's economic recovery. If those issues are not addressed soon, then the Government risks undermining that contribution."

FCSA has today written to Small Business Minister Mark Prisk to clarify these issues whilst urging the Minister to re-consider that way his Department views the problem of vulnerable workers to avoid similar problems in future.