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Campaigns to outlaw 'umbrella' companies stepped up

Campaigns to outlaw so-called "umbrella" companies are being stepped up amid fresh complaints that construction workers are being "ripped off".

Unite said workers were being denied basic employment rights by having to pay all National Insurance contributions, a higher tax rate and a weekly fee to have self-employed status.

Acting general secretary Gail Cartmail said: "Umbrella companies are highly immoral and rip off workers.

"The Government need to end the misery of umbrella company workers by outlawing this practice and all forms of bogus self-employment.

"Unite has already succeeded in outlawing umbrella companies for example on the Hinkley Point nuclear power station project.

"The Scottish and Welsh governments and several local authorities have introduced measures outlawing umbrella companies on public sector contracts.

"If the Government fails to act we will step up pressure on all public and private sector organisations to ban these sinister organisations."

More than 400,000 workers in construction and other industries are believed to be paid through an umbrella company.

Unite said "unscrupulous" employers in sectors such as logistics, supply teaching and pharmaceuticals are increasingly using this form of employment.

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