A TRADE body has decided to close and throw its weight behind a key competitor.

The Association of Employment Management Companies (AEMC) will shut after more than seven years to lend its support to the industry’s “driving force” PRISM.

Colin Howell, CEO of Crystal Umbrella, has been a director of AEMC for almost all that time.

He said:

“AEMC was set up with the aim of lobbying government and HMRC in the members’ interests but I and the rest of the board now feel the time is right to entrust that role fully to PRISM."

“It has been doing a fantastic job of providing the industry with a powerful voice in Westminster during what are uncertain times for employment intermediaries."

“It is important AEMC does not distract from the important work that PRISM is doing. PRISM is expanding and commands the respect of officials as well as its members under the careful stewardship of Crawford Temple."

“We expect PRISM to continue to grow. It has already proved itself to be a driving force in the fight to get a fair deal for the intermediaries sector on travel and subsistence changes with its Yes2T&S campaign and lobbying activity.”

Some AEMC members, including Crystal Umbrella, are already members of PRISM, which was formed in May.

PRISM CEO Crawford Temple said:

“I welcome the decision of AEMC and thank them for their support."

“Our sector is under attack like never before."

“I hope AEMC’s decision to close will focus attention on PRISM and help drive forward the powerful advocacy we are striving to achieve for our members."

“The Government is taking thousands of pounds away from contractors as part of a radical shake-up of expenses which we must continue to fight and I am certain this will not be the last test the sector faces. We are certainly stronger together.”

AEMC other directors were Jonathan Hughes, managing director of Atlantic Umbrella, and Adrian Learer, who originally founded AEMC member planIT but now runs commercial dispute resolution firm Mediatus.