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Alternative contracting options

Labour shortages have necessitated employers looking for alternative ways to staff their businesses, other than by using permanent employees.

Permanent employees can be expensive and hard to find, and if they have not already started doing so, many businesses will need to rethink their workforce strategy.

For many employers this has meant dramatic changes to the structure of their workforce and the way their staff work. Tighter regulation, litigation risk and reputational hazards are making it harder to rely on some of the available alternative contracting options – such as zero hours contracts and “gig economy” type arrangements.

We are inevitably seeing an increase in the use of freelancers, fixed-term employees and agency workers for specific projects. The use of intermediaries (such as agencies and umbrella companies) between the “freelancer” and the end-user organisation has also increased following changes to IR35 rules.

As technology continues to develop, automation may lead employers to recruit robots or employ algorithms rather than people to undertake certain tasks.

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