Life is full of milestones. First steps. First words. First day of school. All of them triumphs and successes. But what does success look like for a company? Your first customer? Your first million? A new office? Again, all significant achievements. But there’s something particularly satisfying about hitting a nice, large number. Almost 12 years ago to the day our first customer came through the proverbial Kingsbridge doors. In a slightly uncanny piece of synchronicity, a few weeks back those same doors opened for our 50,000th customer.
A guest blog by Matt Fryer – Compliance Director, Brookson Legal Services
The “Off-payroll working rules from April 2020” consultation document issued by HMRC on 5th March 2019 (“Consultation Document”) reaffirmed that the Off-Payroll Rules, in force in the public sector, will be extended to the private sector from 6 April 2020.
Currently, in the private sector, contractors are responsible for assessing their own employment status. The effect of the April 2020 changes is that the medium and large sized businesses who use contractors (“end-hirers”) will need to identify impacted roles and assess the employment status of those roles to determine whether they are Inside or Outside IR35 – this determination will directly affect the take home pay of the off-payroll workers performing those roles. It should be noted that existing roles which will run beyond 6 April 2020 will need to be assessed prior to 6 April 2020 in addition to all new roles commencing from 6 April 2020.
Lorraine Kelly. Christa Ackroyd. Eamonn Holmes. Robert Glenister. Kaye Adams. No, it’s not the latest Strictly line-up. The above TV stars are just the visible few of the potentially large number of well-known names who are likely to have been caught-up in HMRC’s ongoing IR35 crackdown.
As anyone with half on eye on the news will know, some have fared better than others. Lorraine Kelly, or rather ‘Lorraine Kelly’, avoided a substantial fine by claiming that her happy-go-lucky TV persona was just that – a brand, and not a reflection of the real person. Kay Adams was judged to be sufficiently detached from the BBC to be outside IR35. Ackroyd was not. Glenister lost due to a combination of a lack of understanding and flimsy, poorly prepared legal arguments. Holmes’ case is still going through the courts, with £2m of tax at stake.
One subject that has come up repeatedly in our recent blogs, especially those focusing on IR35 regulations, is the idea of a “substitution clause”. But what exactly is a substitution clause, and why do people keep urging you to have one?
Most contractors and freelancers operate as individuals, taking on projects themselves and seeing them through to completion. However, a substitution clause is a section within your contract that tells your clients of your right to provide an alternate person or persons to carry out the work that you have been contracted to do.
It can be useful if:
- you’re ill
- you have a family emergency or other issue
- you’re on holiday or abroad for another job but you have clients that need looking after
- you want to temporarily step back from work for some reason
Despite the hype around social media, there are lots of reasons that contractors might be tempted to avoid it altogether for business use. It takes investment in terms of time and, increasingly, money, as platforms tighten their algorithms to restrict the reach of business posts. It’s easy to get wrong, and it’s hard to do it really well when you don’t have a dedicated social media team in-house. But equally, not using social media could be a wasted opportunity for contractors. Our advice? Use it, but use it smartly. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and target one or two key platforms that best fit the needs of your business and get you in front of the right audience. In this guide we take a look at four of the most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll look at which platforms are most suitable for which types of content, and the types of client they will allow you to connect with, to help you kickstart your social media strategy.
Contracting and freelancing can be a lonely game. It can feel like you’re in a bit of a bubble, isolated from the “real world”, and unable to build up collegial relationships. One valuable way to build up your profile, networks and client base is to get involved with a local business group. The broad benefit of joining a group like this is that ever-present business buzzword: “networking”. There are a wide variety of different relationships you might build and opportunities that you might discover. This blog looks at some of the key benefits to becoming part of a business network as a contractor or freelancer.
Freelancing sometimes gets a bit of a kicking in the press and on social media. If you listen to the naysayers, it’s exploitative, unstable, unsocial, and insecure. Last month on Twitter, journalist Amelia Tate offered an alternative view, saying that she found freelancing “extremely enjoyable”, very “lucrative” and that it had had a positive impact on her mental health. Hundreds of freelancers joined in to say exactly what they loved about freelancing – here are just a few of the top reasons freelancers love their jobs.
“I see so much negativity about freelancing + I just want to weigh in for anyone considering it that I personally find it extremely enjoyable + v lucrative + have substantially better mental health than when staff. every experience is diff, but would hate for people to be put off!” – Amelia Tate, freelance journalist
This is a guest post from Stuart Juggins, founder of Aardent. You can find more information about who Aardent are and what they can do for recruiters at the bottom of this piece.
What is a Statement of Work?
A Statement of Work or SoW in basic terms is a contract setting out the commercial agreement between two parties, which is used to define and document a set of objectives, outcomes, tasks, terms and financial conditions to be measured against.
The SoW is legally binding and as such should always clearly state the specific activities required to be provided, namely the Deliverables and Milestones. Any engagement that utilises a SoW should also detail all of the relevant payment conditions for the respective deliverables and milestones, stating conditions for when payments will be triggered.
The SoW will document all of the activity in detail that the chosen supplier (a contractor, consultancy etc.) and procurer (the client) is responsible for completing, along with the duration of the project / engagement and specifying how and when payments will be made. All of this activity will be based against the completion of specific milestones and can be paid on a time & materials, capped T&M or fixed-price basis.
Annually, the good people at APSCo hold a ball in support of a chosen charity. Each year the ball has a theme. 2017, for example, had ‘Miami Beach’. 2018 was based around the idea of ‘Aloha’. This year, on Friday 14th June, they’re going for something a little different – ‘Enter the Dragon’. Think Bruce Lee. Chinese dragons. Cheongsams. With centuries worth of Chinese tradition to choose from, it should be a spectacular event for all those in attendance.
In our final piece following on from last year’s Industry Insight event, we’re taking a look at what the future might hold for the recruitment industry as well as the challenges change is creating within the staffing ecosystem. We’ll be borrowing from John Nurthern’s excellent presentation, and if you wish to do further reading there is a wealth of information on the SIA website.
There has been, and continues to be, a fundamental shift in the way that people are working –perhaps more so than at any time since women entered the workforce in large numbers after the war. It could even be said that the freelancer surge is the industrial revolution of our time.