HMRC & BIS join recruitment leaders
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) convened with recruitment entrepreneurs to tackle clarity, compliance and changing legislation at this quarter’s Recruitment Leaders event. Key representatives from HMRC and BIS discussed recruitment regulatory challenges in-depth with attendees at the exclusive debating forum, established this year by Brabners LLP, Outsauce, Saffery Champness and RBS.
Well timed in advance of the Chancellors Autumn Statement, assembled senior agency representatives reviewed an eventful year for recruitment industry legislation and assessed the implications for 2014.
Clarity and compliance
Sarah Radford, HMRC, began with a bid for transparency, cutting through the generic terminology of employment intermediaries to urge: “HMRC will always consider the actual facts of the arrangements, not the model/ scheme the company say it is operating.” Radford also criticised the increasing prevalence of recruitment service providers claiming & lsquo;Revenue approved’ status, confirming that HMRC does not kite-mark schemes or give advice on individual models of compliance.
Attendees were given a recap of HMRC’s efforts to strengthen existing IR35 legislation and Radford concluded by reaffirming the government’s commitment to clamping down on tax avoidance, with an in-depth explanation of the revised proposals for dealing with offshore intermediaries.
Recruitment regulation reform
Steve Keeler, BIS, spoke about recruitment regulation reform and HMRC’s new enforcement strategy, reiterating the government’s plans to simplify legislation in support of the flexible UK labour market, while protecting vulnerable workers by allocating more resources for enforcing the national minimum wage (NMW).
Keeler outlined the government’s plans to consolidate the Employment Agencies Act 1973, The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulation 2003 into one clear piece of legislation that works for contractors, recruiters and hirers.
With some residual doubt in the room concerning BIS’s speed and powers of deterrence, Keeler predicted a new era of focused and targeted enforcement of agency regulations a necessary change following the government’s 4th November announcement that & lsquo;resources from the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) which is currently situated within BIS, will move to HM Revenue and Customs' National Minimum Wage (NMW) team.’
Recruitment Leaders is a free forum for established agencies and service providers to meet on a regular basis and discuss key sector issues. Following a North West launch, the partners hope to roll the initiative out to multiple regions across the UK.
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