UCATT has welcomed the news that the Welsh Government is acting to outlaw the use of umbrella companies on its construction projects. The union has been campaigning against the use of umbrella companies since their wide scale introduction into the cons …


Welsh Assembly Government
UCATT has welcomed the news that the Welsh Government is acting to outlaw the use of umbrella companies on its construction projects.

The union has been campaigning against the use of umbrella companies since their wide scale introduction into the construction industry in April 2014. Payment via an umbrella company costs some workers £100 a week.

In November last year UCATT held a demonstration at the A465 Heads of the Valleys road widening project, which is being built by Carillion and where workers were required to work via umbrella companies.

Following that protest and pressure from Welsh Assembly Members, Edwina Hart the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport has confirmed that no worker on the A465 will be employed via an umbrella company. They will instead be employed on a standard PAYE basis either by Carillion or its own employment agency Skyblue.

Ms Hart has also announced that she has instructed her officials to change the wording of future Welsh Government construction contracts to ensure that umbrella companies cannot be used in the same way again.

UCATT Regional Secretary Nick Blundell said: “The use of umbrella companies is unfair and exploitative. The decision of the Welsh government to crackdown on their use both on the A465 and on all of their contracts is excellent news.

“This is a significant victory in UCATT’s campaign against umbrella companies. It is now essential that all other public sector contracts introduce similar measures and umbrella companies are entirely outlawed.”

Last year UCATT produced The Umbrella Company Con-Trick a detailed report into how umbrella companies exploit workers.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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