5 things recruiters should think about other than IR35
We’re guilty of it too - concentrating solely on IR35 at the expense of...well, everything else! IR35 presented big changes with a firm deadline, and compliance became a priority for recruiters, contractors, and end clients alike. But now with the April deadline passed, your IR35 solutions should be well and truly installed and running like a well-oiled machine (if they’re not, why not check out the Kingsbridge Status Tool?). So, with that out of the way, your thoughts might be turning to other areas where things might have dropped, either through lockdown or because you’ve been focusing on other tasks. This blog gives our rundown of 5 things that we think recruiters should be thinking about this month other than IR35.
1. Getting staff back in the office
There’s still a little bit of uncertainty about when the “work from home if you can” part of the COVID guidance will be lifted. Lots of businesses and workers were hoping for good news from 21st June, but nothing concrete has been announced yet and the threat of the newly named “Delta” variant may put the brakes on the planned lockdown easing. However, with the vaccination program ramping up, now is a good time to think about preparing for a return to the office, if you haven’t already. It may be that some adjustments are needed to the premises or layout to allow for social distancing, especially if you’ve been running on skeleton staff during lockdown. You might also need to think about making sure the office is kitted out with essentials like hand sanitiser, and how you are going to manage any visitors to minimise exposure and ensure details are taken for track and trace. Managers could also think about planning an away day or team meet-up to get everyone used to working together face-to-face again - outdoor activities like high-ropes challenges or kayaking are COVID-secure and will soon break the ice and have your team bonding again.
2. Staff training
While you’ve hopefully invested in some decent IR35 compliance training for staff during lockdown, there may be other areas that have slipped as a result. A return to the office is an ideal time to undertake some skills and strengths analysis with your team and identify any areas where you might benefit from some additional training or upskilling. Perhaps there’s some new software that you’d like to try to make your job easier or a growth industry that you’d like to find out more about. There’s often a bit of a lull in new contracts over the summer as everyone goes on holiday so it’s the ideal time to invest a bit in developing your skills and experience, and those of anyone you manage. Lockdown has also meant that online training is higher-quality and more accessible than ever, so take advantage of this in advance of things getting back to “normal”.
3. Book a holiday
Speaking of holidays...have you got one booked? The list of potential overseas destinations for a holiday this year is small (unless you’re prepared for a lengthy quarantine upon return and the risk of last-minute flight cancellations). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop for some downtime. Working our way through a pandemic with little contact with family or friends has left a lot of us feeling burnout and stressed. Though the temptation might be to keep working through to try and get on top of everything, we promise you’ll feel so much better after a break. UK destinations are booking up fast, so be quick. Consider options outside the usual suspects of Devon and Cornwall, or maybe even house-swap with friends or family for a change of scene. If nothing else, step away from your computer and plan some days out or work-free time to rest and recharge. Why not spend some time rediscovering the things you loved before lockdown? The corner seat in the pub, the late-night screening at the cinema, or a morning swim and sauna are all yours for the taking.
Now is a good time for hirers to review their internal processes and audit their compliance with other pieces of legislation that affect recruitment businesses. Has anything slipped over lockdown? For instance, if you and the rest of the team have been working from home, make sure that GDPR rules are being adhered to and everyone is being safe with sensitive data, including changing their passwords regularly and keeping any paper files they have taken home in a safe, secure place. Have you checked all your current contracts in your portfolio are operating within Agency Workers Rules if they apply? Post-Brexit, do you have up-to-date proof of eligibility to work for all your hires? Even if your hiring business’s IR35 compliance is top-drawer, there are plenty of potential stumbling blocks in other areas, so, although it might seem tedious, a bit of careful double-checking now can save you big headaches further down the line.
5. Check that your contractors have insurance
In the rush to get IR35 status assessed for new contractors, it’s easy to forget the basics. But you and your end clients certainly don’t want your contractors operating without professional indemnity or public liability insurance. Kingsbridge’s comprehensive insurance packages are designed specifically for contractors, and offer PI, PL, employers’ liability and directors’ and officers’ liability cover - with the option to add on IR35 Protect cover if the contractor or client requires it. Kingsbridge’s policies also come with a price guarantee, so that contractors know they are getting the best cover for a fair price. We work with lots of recruitment businesses to provide insurance packages tailored to the needs of their contractors, and partners can even earn commission on policies that are taken out as a result of your introduction. Find out more on our affiliates page, drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to one of our expert team on 01242 808742 to find out more about how Kingsbridge can support recruiters.