Still only 5 months since the initial launch of the All Umbrella Companies Are Equal site, we are pleased to announce that Guardian (Contract Management) Ltd have signed up to the “straight talking” charter. With 32 members in place now, it is encouraging to see that there are a number of companies within the industry who are keen to work towards a common goal of ‘compliance’ to look after our valuable flexible workforce in the UK. In a recent speech given by Vince Cable to the CBI, he stated that flexible British workers deserve “the greatest credit” for helping kick-start the UK’s economic recovery. In a response given by PCG chairman, Julie Stewart, she stressed; “It’s great that the Government is finally recognising how important flexibility is to economic growth. The UK workforce has undoubtedly had to adapt over the last few years and the rise in self-employment is testament to its ability to do that. It is important, however, to acknowledge the contribution of independent professionals specifically, rather than using a broad and generic term that can be applied to a series of other non-traditional workers. Freelancers contribute £88 billion to the UK economy every year and the work that they do is so often the spark that is needed to kick start growth. It is important that this contribution is recognised individually by the Government.” The work that All Umbrella Companies Are Equal are doing and the continued support from its members, should see companies industry help provide a safe working environment for these ‘flexible’ workers.