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FCSA Members Newsletter
Julia Kermode - FCSA


Since the last newsletter, the FCSA Board has met and very much at the top of its agenda were operating standards within the sector and how the FCSA and its members continue to demonstrate the very highest standards to ensure both compliance and give HMRC, contractors, and our supply chains a benchmark of excellence.

With regulation of our sector on the horizon, the Board felt it right to begin to look carefully at what else we can do to raise the bar even further to ensure that the standards that we operate at are, and will be, the gold standard. The FCSA welcomes regulation and continues to assist BEIS in ensuring it will be truly effective in creating a transparent and fair supply chain.

Soon, our website will change to reflect a set of new standards that any new applicant for membership will have to satisfy. In short, the FCSA Board felt that contractors and the FCSA and its members' reputation is best served by admitting only new applicants who have a more established track record within the three accreditation areas that the FCSA cover. In addition, no prospective member will be able to enter the accreditation stage until they have satisfied an independent due diligence check on their company and directors. These changes will take effect from the 1st October 2020 and any new application enquiries received between now and that date will be declined.

We are now entering the next phase of the job retention scheme and many, but not all, FCSA members will be making plans for redundancies. This is a symptom of the economy and not the sector. It is important that I ensure that the wider world is made aware of the difficult decisions that FCSA members are making is part of a wider picture and that the support services that you provide for the freelance community will be more vital than ever as the UK economy goes through unknown demand cycles. Despite calls to extend the scheme the government is holding firm on the current timescales.

Certainly, IR35 reforms and the uncertain outlook will create a fluctuating contractor population that will need the assurance of highly experienced and compliant FCSA companies.


Best wishes

Phil Pluck, FCSA Chief Executive


Employment Appeal Tribunal Judgement: National Minimum Wage – deductions for training costs and accommodation expenses

Can making deductions from wages for training costs and accommodation expenses put you in breach of minimum wage law? Yes, in certain circumstances, according to a recent case between HMRC and Ant Marketing Ltd. Employers must be aware of what this judgement means for their business. JMW Solicitors LLP explain in this helpful article – read now >


FCSA Workforce Barometer: What price the UK’s slow return to the office?

In the August edition of our monthly market analysis report, we continue to report of the key market data and insights relating to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This issue looks closely at the impact of the lockdown on the UK economy, an extensive overview of companies’ work at home policies and employers who are planning to make redundancies, as well as a full year 2019 retrospective on non-UK nationals in the UK workforce ahead of Brexit.

Download now >


FCSA engages with HMRC on calls for evidence for tackling disguised remuneration tax avoidance

HMRC recently issued a call for evidence for tackling the future use of disguised remuneration.  HMRC has agreed to give the FCSA its own roundtable forum on the 17th September to hear sector experts assist with the consultation. Three member companies have agreed to join FCSA CEO, Phil Pluck in responding to the call for evidence. If you have any comments you would like Phil to take into the discussions (either quoted or anonymised), please do drop him an email to phil.pluck@fcsa.org.uk before the 17th September.   

You can read a copy of the consultation document here >


How will contractor numbers fare in the light of COVID-19 and the recession?

Dave Chaplin, writing in Contractor Weekly, comments on a recent survey of over 1000 contractors showing a growing exodus from freelance work despite the fact this population will be in greatest demand when demand does return to the sector.

You can read the full article here >


Institute for Public Policy Research warns UK government of potential 2 million job losses when furlough scheme ends

In a report published by the Thinktank, The Institute for Public Policy Research, “Rescue and Recovery – COVD-19, Jobs and Income Security”, it has warned the government that 2 million job will be lost, unnecessarily, when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends this October.

The Institute estimates that 3 million workers will still be relying on the furlough scheme when it finishes due to a “continued shortfall in demand”. They also estimate that 1 million people will lose their jobs, primarily in the worst affected sectors such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing and construction, but 2 million jobs could be protected if the government were to extend wage subsidies into early next year.

For more information about the Institutes latest findings and recommendations to government, click here >


REC reports new post-lockdown high in job adverts

The number of job adverts posted in the UK rose to the highest weekly total in the first week of August according to the latest analysis by the REC.

In the week commencing 3 August, job postings increased from 1.04 million to 1.10 million, 126,000 were new job adverts; the highest recorded since the coronavirus crisis began.

In their findings, they reported a strong rise in job postings for positions in gardening, construction, painting and decorating, LGV drivers and perhaps not surprisingly, debt collectors.


Second stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) now open for applications

Self-employed people whose livelihoods have been affected by coronavirus can now claim a second payment from the SEISS scheme. Those who are eligible with receive a government grant worth up to £6,750.

To date, over 2.7 million self-employed people have benefited from the scheme, receiving in total £7.8 billion.

The eligibility criteria remains the same as for the first grant, with people needing to have had trading profits of no more than £50,000, making up at least half of their total income.

HMRC will contact all potentially eligible persons to advise them that they will be able to make their claim for the second and final grant at any time from a specified date, until the scheme closes on 19 October 2020.


New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments

As of 31 July 2020, furloughed employees will be entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate.

The new law announced by the government will mean those furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will not be short-changed in the event of being made redundant. The changes will also apply to statutory notice pay and other entitlements.

For more information, click here >

Brabners Legal Update

Government announces further details about the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus

Three weeks after Rishi Sunak’s introduction of the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ in a speech to the House of Commons on 8 July, HMRC released a policy paper setting out further details of the Job Retention Bonus (‘JRB’) announced in the Chancellor’s speech.

Read on to find out more >

Market Analysis

Three in ten SIESS claims made by construction workers

Data published by HMRC for the period ending 30 June highlights that three in ten SEISS claim (31%) were made by construction workers.

Whilst the average value of a SEISS claim was £2,900, these varied significantly by sector, ranging from £2,100 in admin and support services, to £4,200 in finance and insurance. The average value of claims in for self-employed workers in construction was the second highes at £3,500.

Upcoming Events

TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards 2020

Virtual Event
Friday 18th September, 3:00 – 4.30pm

Our CEO, Phil Pluck will be making his awards ceremony debut to present the winner of FCSA sponsored Contractor Solution of the Year Award for 2020.

Winners will be announced in 10 award categories during a virtual awards ceremony and they will reveal the Champion of Champions as voted for by our panel of esteemed judges.

To find out who has been shortlisted or to purchase at e-ticket, please visit the TALiNT website >

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