TM Labour Suppliers

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 animages gbu 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.

The Good

You only have to use their operatives as and when required, they tend to work on short notice.

The Bad

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.

There seems to be a bit of confusion on who responsible for the self-employed agency workertraffic-management-home-21.jpg

Agency staff

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?

The Ugly

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.


Filed under Roadworks

3 responses to “TM Labour Suppliers

  1. In our experience they are all of the above. There is certainly an industry need for agencies as they offer many businesses a cost effective solution to the peaks in their business activities. Some are better than others, some take the time to understand the industry and its expectations, others think it’s a cash cow! How the industry identifies the good from the bad and ugly is the next step we collectively need to take…………


  2. Steve
    Many thanks for your comment


  3. Steve twamley

    A few things to consider most agency ops are limited companies and therefore should have their own insurances. There is at least one agency that employ their guys on PAYE but I know for a fact they they make the operative pay the employer portion of NI and their holiday is within their rate. Most of them will not know they are paying too much NI. If the ops are trading as a sole trader they are breaking the law and need to become a limited company or go direct through PAYE, there is at least one agency insisting on paying their labour as limited firms if they are registered at Companies House or illegally as a sole trader if they are not. For those that do not know the difference between limited and sole trader, the sole trader invoices for the whole amount without stoppages but they are not registered with Companies House As most are in fact limited companies I think you will find the agency regulations do not apply to them so any 12 week rules go out the window. For those that are concerned about ops doubling for two different agencies can I suggest you alter you agency men on to different shifts from time to time. You will find any doublers will come up with reasons why they cannot swap shifts. I think once the HMRC stop scratching their heads they will catch up with all of this, there will come a time when all these Limited Companies will be stopped and told they should be PAYE, all of them will fall within IR35 so either the agency employs them directly or they cease trading in that way. My money is on a lot less agencies existing when the Taxman cometh

    Liked by 1 person

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