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UK – Temporary workers forced from umbrella company contracts after union complaints (Construction Enquirer)

13 June 2019

Temporary agency workers at a housing site in Dundee, Scotland have been moved to the PAYE (pay as you earn) system following complaints by trade union Unite, reports Construction Enquirer. Dundee City Council signed a fair work charter with Unite in December 2018 which pledged to ensure direct employment for public jobs. However, Unite officials discovered workers on the housing site were being employed through an “umbrella” company. Robertson Partnership Homes which is working on the housing site, said work had commenced on the site before the charter was signed. “Since being made aware that Unite expected retrospective compliance, the three temporary agency workers on the Hill Street site have been moved to PAYE by the agency,” a spokesperson for Robertson said. The PAYE system is a method of paying income tax and national insurance contributions. According to Unite, “Agencies attempt to force workers in to so-called ‘umbrella companies’, to off-load national insurance contributions and other benefits to the detriment of the worker.”

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