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Put an end to false self-employment registration says UCATT

UCATT, the construction union, wants to see certain payroll companies subjected to an urgent investigation. It says that these companies cost HMRC millions of pounds in lost NICs and deny contractors and freelancers basic employment rights.

The Daily Mirror newspaper recently conducted an investigation into the way payroll companies have been allowing businesses and recruitment agencies to register people as self-employed, when they are in fact employees.

The union has sent letters to the Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke, and HMRC demanding that they take urgent action against offending payroll companies. UCATT also emphasises that this is proof that there is an extremely high level of falsely claimed self-employment throughout the construction industry.

The general secretary of the union, Alan Ritchie, explained that there has been a massive increase in the number of payroll companies that exist solely to help companies deny employment rights to their workers and avoid paying NICs.

The REC countered UCATT's claims saying that a balance needs to be struck. Whilst it's important to stop false self-employment claims, it's imperative that the flexible workforce in the construction industry is retained.

Kevin Green said the REC was committed to working closely with the coalition to stamp out false self-employment and yet it is also critical to promote genuine self-employment if the economy is to grow.

Payroll companies can assist self-employed people especially when it comes to administering pay, he pointed out. The REC is therefore urging the government to investigate this area, along with reviewing IR35, in order to help SMEs and entrepreneurs.

In the Stratford area alone there are more than 5,000 construction workers engaged on landmark projects such as the 2012 Olympic Games. Therefore there is now an even greater need for a flexible workforce.

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