The Managing Director of Danbro Workforce Solutions, James Burrows, has been elected to join the Board of the FCSA (Freelancer & Contractor Services Association). The FCSA’s Board is comprised of a chief executive and nine elected members from companies and organisations across our industry.
It’s a prestigious position and one that brings with it plenty of responsibility. So, we sat down with James to ask him about his new role, the relationship between Danbro and the FCSA, and his views on our industry at the end of a year like no other. Firstly though, he told us what it meant to him personally to have been selected.
“It’s a real privilege to be appointed as an FCSA Board member, and I’m incredibly excited to get involved,” he said. “At Danbro, we’ve always been recognised for our approach to compliance, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share our experience for the greater good of the temporary labour market.”
FCSA: UK leaders in raising standards & promoting compliance
The FCSA is a not-for-profit association fully owned by its members. They’re the ‘UK’s leading membership body dedicated to raising standards and promoting supply chain compliance’ amongst contract workers and the temporary labour market. The FCSA has also proved an effective and formidable lobbyer of governments past and present on issues facing those in our sector.
Back in 2018, Danbro achieved full FCSA accreditation following a stringent, independent auditing process. Recognised as the industry’s ‘gold standard’ for compliance, accreditation is only awarded to companies and organisations who consistently demonstrate the very highest industry standards.
At the time our accreditation was made public, James proclaimed: “In a sector that lacks regulation, the FCSA are not only setting a benchmark, they are defining excellence across our industry.” So, does he still think this is the case, and how does he think they achieve this?
“I still believe this is still the case today,” he said, “and I put their success down to three critical factors. Despite external – and often financial – pressure, the FCSA do not compromise on compliance. This is really important. They also consistently show a willingness to educate and influence [positively] all parties within the supply chain. This ties in with the third factor, which is their success in lobbying to ensure policy makers understand the complexities of our sector.”
“The FCSA set the standards across our industry whilst continually looking to raise the bar and promote compliance. Several years ago, accreditations were generally seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise. However, I believe key stakeholders throughout the supply chain now fully appreciate the value that the FCSA brings to the market.”
FCSA Board ‘delighted’ at appointment
Meanwhile, the FCSA’s Chief Executive, Phil Pluck, expressed his satisfaction at James’ selection: “We are delighted that James has joined the FCSA Board,” he said. “The sector faces many challenges in our ever-changing economy in terms of future regulation and an increase in non-compliant companies entering our market place at a time when traditional employment models are being replaced by more flexible alternatives.”
“FCSA voice on compliance and representing ‘best in class’ companies is more important than ever. To have someone of James’ calibre and seniority is a real positive to FCSA. I look forward to working closely with James to ensure that the supply chain and the worker regard an FCSA company as the right, compliant choice.”
Danbro & the FCSA
As Danbro’s relationship with the FCSA has evolved over the years, James believes it’s one that’s been beneficial to both parties.
“We continually promote the efforts of the FCSA,” he said, “which I believe has helped strengthen the existing relationships we have with agencies and end clients. Not only does the external accreditation process provide a level of assurance to our clients, the FCSA also shares valuable insights into the future of our sector.”
“I’d also like to think that the FCSA has benefitted from our membership too. We’ve supported them at several events, provided expert opinions, and helped shape the current Codes of Compliance.” You can read the FCSA’s Codes of Compliance, in full, here.
Alongside his new colleagues, James will have strategic responsibility for FCSA objectives, influencing policy, and regulatory developments. One of the FCSA’s main objectives is to combat and regulate non-compliance within the industry. Unfortunately, the issue of unscrupulous umbrella companies is one that continues to blight our sector, with many contractors falling foul of dishonest operators. We asked James what more he thinks needs to be done to deal with this problem.
“We need to continue educating and improving awareness throughout the supply chain,” he said. “Poor decisions made are often ill-informed, as opposed to deliberate. However, the liabilities and potential damage caused by such poor decisions can be significant, with substantial consequences. I also believe that the umbrella sector is now recognised as a part of the supply chain. With this comes regulation and more enforcement to ensure compliance standards are adhered to.”
The future’s bright for our sector
That said, and in light of such a challenging 10 months, James remains ‘excited and optimistic’ about the future of our sector.
“I am still very optimistic about the future of our industry,” he explained. “Whilst 2020 has been a challenge it has also once again highlighted the resilience of our sector and the need for umbrella companies too. Umbrella companies like ourselves have provided support to many families through this unprecedented year, whether this be through furlough pay, statutory sick pay, or just lending a friendly ear to someone in need.”
“In terms of industry, where one sector suffers another blossoms. That diversification has provided stability throughout this difficult period. We believe the temporary labour market is a critical part of the UK economy. It generally thrives in tougher conditions, as companies look for flexibility and innovation – both of which are qualities our sector provides in abundance.”
“We’re extremely excited about what the next year may bring. We’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money to enhance our systems and processes and, as such, we believe we’re well placed to drive growth across our business.”
To find out more about how Danbro can help you, get in touch today.