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Freelancers laid off, as all hiring 'falls off a cliff'
by Susie Hughes at 13:06 23/03/20 (News on Business)
A snapshot survey by recruitment agency body, APSCo shows that contractors are being told that their assignments have been terminated, and there is a complete stall on permanent hiring with job offers being rescinded.
Almost 90 per cent of recruitment firms said that up to 50 per cent of their contractors had already been terminated.

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  • Two thirds (67 per cent) of recruitment firms said that permanent hiring within their sector was on hold
  • Almost 90 per cent of recruitment firms said that up to half of their contractors had already been terminated
  • Three quarters expect up to 50 per cent to be terminated by March 29
  • 83 per cent of recruitment firms were considering redundancy for their own staff
  • Three quarters said that help with salaries was the most important measure that the Government could implement.

Ann Swain from APSCo said: “Recruitment is a service industry and so the biggest business cost is the salary bill – the Government pledge to fund 80 per cent of furloughed staff salaries up to a maximum of £2500 is obviously very welcome but the key will be how quickly that can be accessed.

"The clarity and simplicity of the rescue package whether that be loans, tax payment deferral or salary grants will be critical. It is also likely that HMRC and other financial services organisations will have a critical need for staff to process applications and APSCo members have ideal candidates ready and waiting.

"The VAT deferment will help cashflow, one of the key issues for recruitment firms, and the fact that the Business Interruption Fund will be interest free for 12 months and available from today will also be good news for our members.

"However, we are also concerned about the thousands of self-employed and freelance contractors who have had their assignments terminated and who will not be protected and who, it seems, will have to rely on the benefits system.”


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