The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has launched revised Codes of Compliance, which it says are tougher and even more transparent than previous versions.
Following a review that took five months, the new codes provide added assurance to agencies, hirers and contractors, according to the FCSA.
In particular, member firms must now provide more transparency to contractors, particularly in relation to holiday pay in umbrella employment contracts and on payslips.
Umbrella companies have come under repeated fire this year, with claims some unscrupulous providers withhold holiday pay and other benefits owed to workers. In April MP Ruth Cadbury went as far as to call for umbrella firms to be banned due to “significant malpractice” in the industry.
Legitimate umbrella providers have argued, however, that especially given the introduction of new IR35 rules earlier this year, there’s a clear need for such structures.
“As market conditions change so too must our codes,” said Phil Pluck, the FCSA’s Chief Executive. “This is to ensure the highest standards of compliance are continued to be met by our member firms. Which is why now, we’re announcing the launch of our latest Code revisions.
“The most comprehensive and compliant set of evidence-based standards now exist in our sector. No one else in the sector can give contractors or the supply chain this level of assurance.”
The FCSA has also introduced new pre-requisite and due diligence checks on all new applicants, which must be passed before proceeding to the accreditation assessment stage.
It said each step in the assessment process is conducted by independent and regulated accountants and solicitors, all with considerable experience in the sector. No member of FCSA staff, the board or membership are involved in this process.
Photo courtesy of Canva.com