Traffic Management Labour suppliers are they a good thing or a nightmare waiting to happen?
At the moment the industry is very busy, mainly due to being mad March when all the local authorities need to spend their budget and an influx of money from the government due to the election being announced.
I saw an article on Facebook regarding an agency supplying the Traffic Management industry of traffic management operatives started in 2009, the question they asked was “how many labour suppliers are there now”? What a good question, You go on Facebook, Twitter and most other media outlets you will always find labour agencies trying to recruit carded or non-carded operatives.
Now I have nothing against labour supply companies and I will keep my opinion to myself, however this post is to start a debate on the good the bad and the ugly side of the supply agencies. Not to start slagging them off or complaining about certain companies, keep this a clean debate.
You only have to use their operatives as and when required, they tend to work on short notice.
Give me 5 minutes and I’ll call you back, 5 minutes turns into 20 and so on, that’s if they ring you back. In the meantime you try another supplier and guess what, I’ii call you back, 5 minutes. The operatives can sign for more than one supply agency. Then you have to chase for a copy of their cards and certificates, Most of the operatives who work for labour supply companies have to be self-employed, if that’s the case who’s insures them, I bet they are not covered by the labour supply company, how can they be insured by the company who hired them? Would you put someone on your insurance if you didn’t know them.
As an employer, you can hire temporary staff through agencies. This means:
- you pay the agency, including the employee’s National Insurance contributions (NICs) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- it’s the agency’s responsibility to make sure workers get their rights under working time regulations
- you must make sure they can access your facilities (such as canteen and childcare facilities), and information on your job vacancies
- after 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role, agency workers get the same terms and conditions as permanent employees, including pay, working time, rest periods, night work, breaks and annual leave
- you must provide the agency with information about the relevant terms and conditions in your business so that they can ensure the worker gets equal treatment after 12 weeks in the same job
- you must allow agency workers to use any shared facilities (eg a staff canteen or childcare) and give them information about job vacancies from the first day they work there
you are still responsible for their health and safety
Freelancers, consultants and contractors
If you hire a freelancer, consultant or contractor it means that:
- they are self-employed or are part of other companies
- they often look after their own tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs)
- they might not be entitled to the same rights as workers, eg minimum wage
- you’re still responsible for their health and safety
So if they are self-employed and paying their own contributions, surely they must have to have their own insurance.
If they are a sole trader or a Limited company working through the agency, they still pay their own contributions so surely they must have to have their own insurance or have I got this wrong?
How can you, as a company control the labour suppliers traffic management operatives working hours, have they double shifted? how many shifts have they carried out that week? After all they can work for one agency on days and another agency on nights, hows that safe. How many times do you get let down by the operatives not turning up on-site and then its you who has to face the customer.
Remember this is to help the TM operatives for their rights as well as the agencies. It’s only a poll.