By Claire West

Stuart Davis, Chair of the Freelance and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) said:

“Today we celebrate the vital, £21 billion contribution the flexible workforce makes to the UK economy. When a majority of UK companies say they remain cautious about taking on permanent staff, freelancers provide flexibility and specialist skillsets helping UK companies to remain agile in this uncertain economic climate.

“It is right that we celebrate the contribution of the flexible workforce, but we must also recognise potential threats to the sector. Next November the outlook for UK freelancers may be much bleaker. The Agency Workers Regulations are intended to protect vulnerable workers, but it is likely to inhibit companies hiring professional freelancers when it comes into force next year unless guidance recognises the diversity of the flexible workforce. While the FCSA welcomes the Coalition government’s efforts to simplify tax regulation and review IR35, proposals like the centralisation of PAYE will complicate, not simplify and so limit economic growth”.