date posted: 02-12-2016

The way we work has changed significantly in recent years. There are growing numbers of people who, sometimes by choice and sometimes through necessity are not in what might be described as traditional employment.   

The number of people in self-employment has grown exponentially and businesses in many industries are reaping the benefits of a flexible workforce. Freelancing and contracting have increased and new business models such as Uber, deliveroo and AirBnB have changed the way many people earn their living or supplement their main income.  

Some people you speak to love the freedom of contracting or freelancing and many individuals enjoy the variety of temporary working. There are others though who would prefer to have the security and the benefits of a contract of employment such as sick pay and maternity or paternity leave.

There are also growing concerns about the impact our changing workforce could have over the longer term on individuals and society as a whole. With less people in permanent employment there are potentially millions of people currently not investing in their pension despite the government’s best efforts with legislation on auto enrolment.  

In October the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced a review of employment practices to ensure workers’ rights are being met in what is an ever changing workforce.  

The review will be carried out by Matthew Taylor who has been tasked with ensuring that employment practices are keeping pace with the UK’s constantly changing work force. With an estimated 900,000 workers in the UK on zero hour contracts this will undoubtedly be one area focused on by the review.  

At Sterling we understand the importance of a flexible workforce to the UK economy and know from the many workers we deal with on our different schemes that there can be no one size fits all approach. We also welcome any review which could improve the situation for the many workers out there who are not benefitting from basic entitlements such as the right to the minimum wage or holiday pay and at the same time aren’t experiencing the flexibility and satisfaction that can come from true self-employment.  

We support thousands of contractors on our umbrella scheme and believe that this is one solution which works for individuals whilst supporting demand in the UK for a flexible workforce. Our umbrella employees enjoy the flexibility of contracting combined with all the benefits of a contract of employment.  


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