Umbrellas & Agencies are in the crosshairs – Get ready for big pay-outs.
Those that follow Contractor Voice will be aware that we have been working on a legal route that will give Contractors’ access to justice to recover unlawfully withheld Holiday Pay.
The time for claims against Umbrellas and Agencies for their historical Holiday Pay ‘pocketing’ is almost upon us. But that’s not all. Working with litigation lawyers, the companies that have put systematic processes and procedures in place to intentionally ‘pocket’ Holiday Pay will no longer be protected by the 3-month Industrial Tribunal window, 100’s of thousands of Contractors will now have access to justice for claiming even if their Umbrella employment ended many years ago.
Umbrellas and Agencies – You really do need to worry and the time to act is now
As a direct result of Contractor Voice publicly exposing that FCSA founding Umbrellas, JSA/Workwell and Giant, have systematically and unlawfully ‘pocketed’ Holiday Pay for many years; estimated to be worth 10’s of millions of pounds, specialist lawyers will be targeting them and the Agencies they have worked with to recover the money that should have been paid to Contractors. When adding the claims against other Umbrellas outside of the FCSA, the total will be in the 100’s of millions.
Jacob Bellas, founder of Contractor Voice points out, “The claims will not just focus on JSA/Workwell, Giant and all those Agencies who neglectfully mandated FCSA umbrellas; Any Umbrella that has withheld Holiday Pay as well as Agencies that were complicit should expect an avalanche of claims. Every penny misappropriated will have to be paid back to the contractors who were meant to receive it in the first place. I believe that average claim values will be £5,000 to £10,000 each, plus interest and legal fees, so the total of all claims will be enormous. substantial…
Agencies that were not complicit and did not share the withheld Holiday Pay will not escape liability if, unbeknown to them, their Umbrellas pocketed Holiday Pay. If an Agency turned a blind eye naively thinking their candidates were in safe hands; applied ‘tick box’ due diligence; no due diligence, or mandated any contractor use an FCSA or Professional Passport Umbrella that has been withholding, they too should expect the claims to start coming in.”
Jacob goes on to say, “The imminent mass litigation is the shake-up that the sector has needed for many years, especially as it is commonly accepted that this malpractice is occurring but there has been no redress for contractors; no longer will the main players (or the lesser ones) be able to hide behind an FCSA ‘accreditation’ facade, fancy legal jargon or outdated Holiday Pay laws. It is hard to see how the offending Umbrellas and Agencies will survive the financial and reputational consequences …
A bleak future for many Umbrellas and Agencies
It is hard to see how financial ruin for the offending Umbrellas, Agencies and their ‘accreditors’ (and their directors and shareholders) isn’t imminent, but those funds were always intended for the contractors and the money is rightfully theirs. The sector will be a much better place without those businesses tainting it, with the professional Umbrellas and Agencies who followed the rules picking-up the business and treating contractors fairly and paid correctly.”
The Court of Appeal judgment in Gary Smith V Pimlico Plumbers Ltd will be well known to most readers, so it will come as no surprise that the lawyers will be applying that to the coming claims. However, it does have its limitations; Contractors must either still be in the employment of an Umbrella or have left no later than 3-months to be able to claim. Contractor Voice has found a solution to this, so read on.
The legal game changers for contractors
What should really worry Umbrellas and Agencies, is that the lawyers will be approaching the misappropriation of these funds using the well-established laws relating to civil fraud and secret commissions. Any Umbrellas and Agencies sharing withheld Holiday Pay that devised policies and procedures to achieve it, along with many other Agencies that did not do the necessary compliance checks to ensure Holiday Pay was being correctly paid or insisted on receiving rebates or other financial incentives to allow offending umbrellas on to PSL’s, will soon see the floodgates wide open for claims against them.
In concluding, Jacob adds, “It’s fantastic that Contractors will soon be able to claim for the Holiday Pay that has been unlawfully withheld for potentially an unlimited number of years, but Contractor Voice will not rest there. It is well known to most in the sector that for many years some Umbrellas, including some hiding behind accreditations, have been illegally skimming from salaries, pocketing the skim, and in some cases sharing it with the Agencies they work with through so-called rebates and referral fee arrangements. Any Umbrella or Agency that has engaged in such practice will soon find itself in the spotlight; as these and more areas of malpractice are exposed, the perpetrators will have more to worry about as those claims will also be coming very soon”.
Any Contractor employed by an Umbrella now or in the past should act now and register here with Contractor Voice for it to audit their payslips to identify if they have any potential financial wrongdoing claim against a current or former Umbrella or Agency.
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