NEWS6 April 2020

MRS pens second letter to chancellor

Covid-19 News UK

UK – The Market Research Society’s chief executive Jane Frost has written a second letter to the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, urging the UK government to support and provide clarity to the sector.

Jane Frost 2_crop

The government should extend the support it has offered the hospitality and leisure sectors to the market research industry to save it from “possibly irreparable harm”, Frost wrote in the letter, dated 31st March.

She said: “The 12 month business rates holiday needs to be widened beyond the current scope of retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses to include any business which can no longer operate face to face functions such as research viewing facilities, venues used for public gatherings, training facilities, etc.”

Frost welcomed new government initiatives such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but said clarity was needed over whether this applies to research interviewers.

“There are thousands of face-to-face interviewers who are workers on zero rated contracts, who work for multiple research organisations not single organisations and pay their tax via PAYE arrangements with the research businesses,” she wrote. “Many of these interviewers are desperate for financial assistance and yet it is still not clear if the furlough arrangements will apply to them and if it does how the scheme will be administered.”

The MRS will assist the government, if necessary, in identifying businesses in face-to-face research in need of help, Frost added.