By Marcus Leach

There’s less than a month to go before the Agency Workers Directive (AWD) come into force on 1st October 2011, yet over half of contractors admit they’ve never heard of them.

This is according to a survey from contractorcalculator.co.uk, which also reveals a shocking 88% of contractors contracting via an agency have not been told about AWD by their recruiter.

“Considering the impact that AWD could have on a contractor’s career and
livelihood, this lack of knowledge is worrying,” says ContractorCalculator
CEO Dave Chaplin.

“We also found that 32% of contractors intend to carry on as before post-1 October because they believe the regulations won’t apply to them, which for many simply won’t be the case.”

According to government guidance, genuine limited company contractors are not intended to be the targets of AWD but umbrella company contractors are considered to be automatically in-scope.

“The lack of engagement by clients and recruiters is also cause for
concern, particularly for umbrella company contractors,” continued
Chaplin.

“93% per cent of umbrella contractors participating in the survey contract via an agency and of these 89% say their agent has not broached the topic of AWD. With clients, the figure rises to 97%: only three in a hundred clients have engaged with their umbrella contractors about AWR.”

But despite over half of them claiming no knowledge of the regulations, many
contractors are planning to take action.

“We asked contractors if they planned to find out more about AWD and 84% said ‘yes’. When asked how, 23% said they’d ask their agency, 28% plan to
look on official government websites and just over a third (31%) will look
for guidance on contracting media website," Chaplin explained.

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