Life as a contractor working on temporary contracts is always challenging. At ContractingWise we are always here to help you navigate around the ever changing legislation, handling your contracts and working out the best payroll provider to work with. When things go wrong you are not on your own – we are here to help.
However, the market is rapidly changing, partly driven by digital innovation – and sadly increasingly by exploitation and scams. Pre-Covid the UK’s legislative system to guard against work related abuse was already struggling to keep pace. Throw in a global pandemic where more people are seeking job opportunities, and an increased use of digital technology make it the ideal breeding ground for fraudsters and abusive labour market practices to take place.
In a recent JobsAware study taken during the pandemic, their results showed that 74% of work-seekers claimed to have applied for at least one assignment opportunity that simply did not exist.
There are several reasons that have been identified as to why unscrupulous recruitment agencies use these tactics:
- To attract new recruits
- To attract new recruits in order to fulfil a position that has been hard to fill
- For criminal activity purposes i.e. harvesting personal information or to extract money from freelancers
This “ghosting assignment” scam took flight at the start of the pandemic but is still ongoing today. Ghosting is most prolific in the creative freelancing industry and according to Freelance UK is common in Retail, Finance, Legal and Technical, Advertising, Marketing, Media and PR where the assignment vanishes without a trace. A study ran by The Knowledge Academy found it was affecting almost one in three job seekers who were “ghosted” in the shape of never hearing back from an opportunity.
Scams & Frauds
But there are also disreputable recruitment agencies who employ other deceitful tactics. These include non-payment or under-payment, or not correctly advising freelancers fully about the opportunity which then causes issues down the line, such as insufficient contractual details, pay conditions or even the full assignment description.
How can you Protect Yourself?
If you are excited about an opportunity you have found online but haven’t worked with the recruitment agency before why not get in touch with us to see if we have. We, alongside our partners, work with hundreds of agencies in the UK and all of them are reputable. We should be able to give you a fair, unbiased opinion based on our relationship with them and how long we have partnered with them. The decision as to what you do will be ultimately yours. However, we can act as your soundboard and support you in any way we can.
If you have worked for an agency that has let you down, don’t forget to let us know. ContractingWISE work with a wide range of hassle-free services that can assist you with your contracting career, to talk to a member of our team call: 0203 642 8679