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Changing roles of umbrellas in market-place
by Susie Hughes at 11:48 25/07/17 (News on Business)
Research has revealed that umbrella working is being adopted by more and more high-end professionals in a diverse range of occupations, as their users enjoy improved rates of pay and longer assignments than previously.
The research, conducted by the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA), which represents umbrella employers, compares umbrella working in 2015 with 2017.

Key findings reveal that:

  • the average assignment rate has risen significantly over the last two years with 73 per cent of umbrella workers earning £15 per hour or more, compared to 53 per cent earning the same rate in 2015.
  • the average length of an assignment has also doubled in the last two years, with umbrella employees, on average, working 29 weeks per assignment, compared to just 14 weeks in 2015.
  • the average length of employment has increased by over 50 per cent since February 2015, with contractors staying with their chosen umbrella for 46 weeks on average, compared to 30 weeks in 2015.
  • seven per cent of the UK’s umbrella employees are within the construction sector, which is a decrease compared to two years ago when the figure was 21 per cent.
  • there has been an increase in umbrella within health and social care which now has 17 per cent of all umbrella employees, compared to six per cent in 2015.

Julia Kermode, chief executive of FCSA said: “Our evidence shows that the umbrella marketplace has matured a lot over the past two years. Umbrella employees are enjoying a better and higher rate of pay, longer assignments and are showing more loyalty to their chosen umbrella employer.

"All of this indicates that the market has developed in the last few years and offers stability to those who choose it.

“We were pleased to hear Matthew Taylor recognising the importance of umbrella firms as a valuable part of the supply chain in his recent review of modern working practices. The umbrella sector collects approximately £3bn for the Exchequer annually and the review panel clearly appreciates the important contribution it makes to the UK economy. Our latest research, along with the support of Matthew Taylor, is to be much heralded in an industry which is often maligned and misunderstood. We have come a long way over the past few years.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2017

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