The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) has won concessions which will allow limited company contractors to opt out of parts of new Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regulations.
The DTI's Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 comes into force on 6 April, and could affect more than half a million people working through 17,000 employment agencies in the UK.
The regulations prevent agencies charging temporary staff for finding them jobs.
Concessions won by the PCG will allow limited company contractors, often highly paid and highly skilled, to opt out of being covered by the regulations.
It will also protect vulnerable, less skilled workers by preventing them being forced to opt out in a similar way.
Ian Durrant, the PCG's external affairs director, explained that the move is meant to regulate the conduct of agencies dealing with temporary staff.
"But incorporated businesses use agencies to find work in a very different way to most individual temp staff," he said.
"Before the opt out it would have been impossible for an incorporated business to pay an agency to find them contracts, but now this problem has been solved."
In meetings with the DTI over the past two years, the PCG has argued that professional IT consultants were not necessarily good at selling themselves, and should be free to pay agencies to market their skills.
The PCG maintained that, if limited liability freelance contractors were to be bound by the legislation as originally drafted, this could prove a disincentive to clients who might otherwise consider using them.
PCG chairman Simon Griffiths said: "We are delighted that our lobbying has, on this occasion, proved to be both worthwhile and effective.
"These regulations are clearly intended to protect work-seekers, particularly those who might be vulnerable. But they are not necessarily appropriate for self-employed freelance contractors.
"Freelancers have an increasingly valuable role to play in the UK economy, and it is important that their enterprise should not be stifled by the introduction of burdensome legislation."
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