The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) met with Treasury Minister David Gauke on Wednesday to discuss the use of travel and subsistence schemes in the recruitment sector and the need for more effective and visible enforcement measures. The REC’s director of policy and professional services Tom Hadley says:
“It was really good to see that the government now recognises the importance of this issue. Agencies who abide by the law are being disadvantaged by market distortion created by organisations who don’t play by the rules. More robust government action to ensure a level playing field is not just an issue for recruiters but also for legitimate umbrella organisations.
“The Treasury are now considering a number of practical solutions that could make a real difference.
“Bad practice by some tarnishes the reputation of our whole industry. That’s why we are committed to working with the government to provide real clarity to recruiters and shine a light on dubious models. We will continue to work closely with HMRC officials to ensure that we see real progress, in particular through a fresh, public enforcement drive on minimum wage regulations.”
The meeting with the Minister and senior HMRC officials was prompted by calls from the REC and individual REC members for the government to address the growing market distortion caused by the way various schemes are delivered, sometimes in contravention of National Minimum Wage regulations. The meeting was also attended by Lorely Burt MP, external tax experts and representatives of the umbrella sector including the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association, Professional Passport and Saffery Champness.