Global trends moving towards the use of contingent work

Figures released by the Royal Society of Arts estimate that 55% of contingent workers provide professional, creative or administrative services. 33% provide skilled or personal services. 16% driving or delivery services.

As global trends rapidly move towards the use of contingent workers, this meteoric shift in working practices will no doubt continue to influence both the economy and legislative landscape.

Contingent ‘non –permanent’ talent is shifting traditional working patterns and processes behind the management and engagement of staff. Organisations are benefiting substantially from the flexibility and skills of these on-demand workers without the burden of employing them directly or having them permanently on the payroll. Yet on the flip side it is also requiring new hiring procedures and screening methods to be implemented.

Background checks and screening of contingent workers

Whilst the majority of companies and organisations have policies and methods in place to screen and run background checks on permanent employees, research suggests only 60% of companies who engage contingent workers screen to the same level. If at all.

The risk of non-compliance

Yet this lack of screening of contingent workers not only opens organisations up to the threat of ‘employee fraud’ or theft but also the exposure of hiring workers who have no right to work within the UK. Penalties for the use of such workers can reach £20,000 in fines (per illegal worker), a prison sentence, as well as the consequences of reputational damage.

Need for robust methods with audit trails

In today’s changing world it’s essential that the speed and accuracy of compliance checks are transformed. Not only to meet the pace of requirement, but to give complete transparency and accessibility to all in the supply chain.

It is crucial that robust audit trails and recurring checks are implemented to ensure that background screening is accurate and that continued compliance checks are in place, in ensuring workers remain fully compliant.

In cases where assignments involve working with children or vulnerable persons, background checks will of course remain mandatory as they do for permanent members of staff. Yet the methods to attain these compulsory checks, in many cases still remain time-consuming, paper based and costly.

Agency worker compliance

End-hirers who use recruit on-demand talent through an intermediary will often pass on the responsibility of compliance through their contractual agreements with a recruitment agency who are supplying the talent. Which is where the need for robust digital audit trails and the ability to complete checks becomes vital.