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Trends in the temporary labour market

Trends in the temporary labour market

Julian Ball, Legal Director at PayStream has advised that this year they have seen a definite increase in agencies and their use of preferred supplier lists (“PSL”).

Julian has advised that there are a number of reasons for this: The need for a reliable home for their workers. Some workers have unwittingly found themselves in MSC structures and have received a tax assessment from HMRC others have found that their offshore provider has disappeared with their money. Whilst some agencies might say that the worker takes his own risks, most do not want their workers or consultants distracted from the day job

Clients are more interested in the supply chain and how workers get paid. Publicity on the use of offshore schemes and statements about off payroll workers in the public sector means that agencies need to communicate with service providers and get quick answers. Where an agency deals with a large number of companies this presents practical difficulties.

AWR and now pension’s auto-enrolment have added a layer of complication for consultants. Some agencies would rather leave it to umbrella companies, who are more geared to financial explanations, to deal with these issues.

As a result of the Bribery Act some agencies have decided that it is better not to leave it to consultants to advise workers which providers to use because it leaves them open to being swayed by incentives.

Julian also added that in selecting a PSL, agencies have focused on:

Set up processes – is it slick and quick for our workers?

Suite of services – do you tailor your advice rather than a one size fits all

Customer service – do you collate feedback? What do your customers say?

Compliance – do you have Anti-Money Laundering and Bribery Act policies in place? Do you have a compliance department? Do you have a third party audit such as Professional Passport?

AWR processes and how information is exchanged

Value added services for workers – our iPhone/Android expenses apps and online contractor portal have been well received

Julian says “Ultimately every agency will have its own priorities. At PayStream we work flexibly with agencies to meet their needs”.


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