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FCSA Members Newsletter
Julia Kermode - FCSA


We live in uncertain times and this week looks to be a critical one for our economy as a second possible lockdown looms. As we start to emerge from the last one, the signs of demand for contingent workers seems to be gaining much faster traction then the rate at which permanent employees are converting back into office life. Whilst the government showed us last week that PAYE contributions had slowed down significantly in the last quarter, the number of employees moving into umbrella models show substantial gains.

The economy is in recession, but umbrella, PSC, and CIS employment models remain robust as end hirers seek to emerge in to profit by using flexible, compliant workforce solutions. An example of the value of the contractor workforce is discussed in a recent article in Contractor Weekly.

Since our last newsletter, I with the support of many of our members have been involved in valuable discussions with various government organisations.

Tackling Disguised Renumeration
I am grateful to our chair, Chris James of JSA, Janet De-Havilland of Pendragon Consultancy, and Matt Tyson of The Workr Group who joined me this month to assist HMRC in identifying and tackling disguised renumeration. HMRC has expressed their thanks for our contribution and will share their findings and recommendations with us soon. By helping to eliminate these practices, it positions FCSA Accredited Members as the lead compliant supply chain partners for the benefit of our member firms and their contractors.

Shaping future umbrella regulation
In addition Chris and I met with directors from the Labour Enforcement Group at BEIS to discuss how we can help to shape any future regulation around commercial umbrella bodies. More information about this meeting and upcoming meeting with Matthew Taylor is included in our new section below. I will keep you informed of progress. 

Finally, I would also like to draw your attention to a number of other articles of interest in our new section below relating to the availability of a Job Retention Bonus claims guide recently published by the government and also concerns we have raised with BEIS in relation to Statutory Sick Pay and its impact on umbrellas.

Best wishes

Phil Pluck, FCSA Chief Executive


FCSA engages with BEIS to shape umbrella regulation

FCSA CEO, Phil Pluck and Board Chair, Chris James recently met with directors from the Labour Enforcement Group at BEIS. We continue to be a key partner in helping BEIS to shape any future regulation in respect of commercial umbrella bodies.

In our discussions, we were able to make progress on the widening the legal definitions of umbrella entities. BEIS is now engaged in looking at a wider definition that may include PEO and Joint Employment models.

Phil and Chris will continue this discussion with Matthew Taylor, the Director of Labour Enforcement when they meet him in a couple of weeks.

One area of concern to BEIS is the use or misuse of the Key Information Document. Whilst they accept that it can be used by less scrupulous players to feed misinformation and thus look more financially attractive, they have also asked the FCSA to act as “best-in-class”. This does represent a compliant opportunity again, to raise our profiles jointly to show the supply chain why an FCSA Accredited Member is the partner of choice.


Statutory Sick Pay poses significant risk to umbrellas

In FCSA’s discussions with BEIS, the real potential of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) becoming a significant financial issue for a number of FCSA was highlighted due to the financial impact of the pandemic lockdown resulting in rising costs and reduced revenue. BEIS did confirm that other trade bodies had also raised similar concerns for its member’s, and they were in discussions with HM Treasury. However, we should not expect any form of short-term reprieve.

Download EYs Statutory Sick Pay – Potential Considerations for Employers in Light of COVID-19 for a summary of the basic SSP rules and temporary changes that have been introduced due to the pandemic.

You can also find another useful article on SSP and COVID-19 in Personnel Today >


Job Retention Bonus Guide to Making Claims

For those of you seeking to claim to job retention bonus, HMRC has produced a guide to assist you in preparing for making any claims under this scheme. You can download a copy of this guide here >


Tribepad wins TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards FCSA Contractor Solutions of the Year Award 2020

On Friday 18th of September, our CEO Phil Pluck attended the virtual TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards hosted by TALiNT.

FCSA was proud to sponsor the Contractor Solutions of the Year Award, which was won by Tribepad, with FCSA Accredited Member Parasol being highly commended in this award category .

To see a full list of all winners and highly commended companies, please visit the awards website >


FCSA Workforce Barometer

In our September edition of Workforce Barometer, we analyse the latest ONS Labour Statistics Report to bring you the latest data on the economic impact of the lockdown, the impact of COVID-19 on temporary employment and a look at how the sector is accessing government support. Our key finding this month include:

• 11% of UK enterprises have a severe or moderate risk of insolvency
• Over the year, total actual hours worked in the UK down by 183.8m – a fall of 5.8 hours a week
• As at 10-23 August across all industries, 11% of the UK remained furloughed on either full-time or part-time basis
• 5% year-on-year decline in self-employed jobs in June 2020
• Number of workers on payroll fell by 695k between March and August 2020

Download and read our latest report here >

Brabners Legal Update

A breakdown of two judgements significantly affecting gig economy businesses

Recently, another high profile ‘worker status case’ has been heard in the Employment Tribunal. The case of O’Eachtiarna and others v CitySprint (UK) Ltd ET/2301176/18, has again brought to light issues surrounding employment status and the obligations on engagers from this.

Read on to find out more >

Market Analysis

Almost half (48%) of workers in accommodation and food services, and 42% of all elementary workers have less than 2 years service

With the accommodation and food services sector facing new COVID-related trading restrictions, and with the ending of the current furloughing scheme fast approaching, new ONS data highlights the extent to which workers within this industry may be limited by employment rights protections.

In the year to March 2020, an average of 48% of all those working within the sector had been engaged for less than 2 years with their current hirer. As such, crucially, they are unlikely to be afforded any redundancy protection if their positions are no longer sustainable. And as an example of the potential scale of job losses looming for the sector, Whitbread yesterday announced 6,000 redundancies across the UK.

Across all sectors the average percentage of workers with less than 2 years service is 28%.

By occupation, the proportion with less than 2 years service ranged from 18% of managers, directors and senior officials to 42% of all in elementary occupations.

Industry Insights

Advice for contractors closing down their contracting company

We now know for certain that the Off-Payroll tax will be rolled-out into the private sector in April 2021 and many contractors working through their limited companies may be considering quitting contracting and closing down their company. 

John Bell is founder and senior partner at insolvency firm Clarke Bell and here he explains how a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is the best course of action to take to wind up a solvent company.

Read Now >

Solutio Launch New Free Switching Service

Solutio and QXAS have launched a free dedicated switching service to help payroll and recruitment businesses manage the process of deploying their advanced software platform.

As the industry adapts to the new COVID world, the importance of accessing a reliable cloud and app-based solution has never been more vital to the smooth running of any organisation. By default, the integrity and accuracy of data held by entities active in the temporary staffing supply chain also need to be accurate, up to date and legally stored.

With this in mind, Andrew Pinnell, Solutio’s Communication Director, has written an accompanying article highlighting the benefits and pitfalls of data management in the recruitment sector. The article articulates how both Solutio and QXAS can assist with data cleansing, outsourced operational processing and cutting-edge payroll technology.

Read Now >

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