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APSCo appalled and dismayed at onerous HMRC intermediaries reporting requirements

Any recruitment company which supplies individuals that work through their own personal services company, an umbrella company, another intermediary – or who are paid gross – will be required to provide specific personal details about themselves – and the individuals they supply. The information required includes highly sensitive data such as gender, date of birth, National Insurance and passport number, as well as payment details.

Commenting on the draft legislation, Samantha Hurley, head of external affairs & compliance, said, “The requirement for intermediaries such as recruitment firms to provide extensive personal information about individuals they have no employment relationship with is unrealistic, 

inappropriate and highly burdensome. Some of the information required such as gender and date of birth are details that we would actively discourage our members from collecting in order to avoid claims of discrimination.”

“We are also extremely concerned about how exactly a recruitment firm is supposed to convince a personal services company contractor to provide highly personal data such as their NI, tax and passport numbers. While it could obviously form part of a contract, we do not believe that this information would be given over willingly. There is also a security issue – obviously emails are not secure and so recruitment firms would have to consider how exactly they are going to collect, process and store this information safely.”

HMRC performs U Turn
Ms Hurley says that when the Government consulted on the changes earlier in the year, APSCo had extensive discussions with HMRC explaining not only the fact that these requirements were inappropriate and unreasonable, but also that they would cause a huge amount of duplication – a point which HMRC agreed with at the time.

Samantha Hurley added, “If a recruitment firm’s contractors are paid through a traditional umbrella company, then the umbrella company is required to make the normal employee returns to HMRC. To require the recruitment firm to duplicate this information is frankly ridiculous and HMRC agreed and suggested that they would consider an alternative. We also pointed out that it would be inappropriate and unnecessary for recruitment firms to hold sensitive personal data on individuals working through personal services companies – as the personal services company itself would be required to make returns. Again, HMRC expressed their understanding and committed to considering a reduced reporting requirement.”

“HMRC has unfortunately ignored these concerns and has produced draft legislation that is now subject to a technical consultation which closes on 25th November. APSCO will obviously be responding in the strongest possible terms on behalf of our members and we would also encourage recruitment firms to respond directly to this consultation."


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