Will limited company accountants be affected by the AWR

Any accountants operating out of their own limited company would be best advised to check whether their working practices fall within the scope of IR35.

As most people will be aware, the Agency Workers Regulations come into force in October. This new legislation is designed to stop vulnerable workers being exploited and grants basic employment rights to temporary workers after 12 weeks in a placement. This includes people who obtained their placement through a recruitment agency and those affected by IR35.

A lot of people think the AWR reinforce IR35 regulations and will help HMRC bring a case against individuals whose contract does not accurately reflect their working practices.

Once the regulations come into force, some companies may not be so eager to retain agency workers for more than 12 weeks. But what happens to companies that rotate agency workers purely to avoid granting equal rights?

Government guidance notes state that temporary workers must be informed of any relevant permanent opportunities within the company so they have the same chance of securing full-time employment as a permanent employee who is about to be made redundant.

Agency workers will also be able to claim unfair dismissal if an employer terminates their contract just before the 12 week period is up and then immediately takes on another temp.

There still seems to be a lot of confusion about the AWR and this will probably continue for some time to come. Anybody who is unsure whether they fall within its scope would be advised to get professional advice well in advance of the October implementation date.

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