3rd July 2018
As regular readers of our blogs will know, we have long urged agencies to ensure beyond doubt that they are working with suppliers and contractors in a manner which complies with local laws. There are a number of ways that firms could find themselves falling foul of the law, but there are two key areas which are under particular scrutiny at the moment. Firstly, authorities across the globe are increasingly clamping down on individuals and agencies that are failing to ensure professionals pay the correct tax. Consequently, the number of cases being investigated is rising steadily, as we recently reported. And, lately, we have seen more instances of workers being incorrectly categorised as self-employed, a notable example being the UK plumber who took his employer to the Supreme Court and successfully argued that he wasn’t a contractor so deserved the full rights of an employee.
So what do recruiters need to be aware of?
No room for risk
In short, you need to be able to demonstrate that your agency is aware of its legal obligations and that it is acting in accordance with the law. With the international legislation and regulation surrounding self-employed workers becoming more complex, you simply cannot afford to make mistakes. And, crucially, under legislation such as the Criminal Finances Act 2017, your agency could face heavy fines if any of its contractors operate outside of the law – even unknowingly.
There’s no doubt that publicised cases of contractors being given poor guidance by recruitment agencies has been damaging for the sector, making it difficult for many to earn the trust of self-employed professionals. It is now more important than ever for your agency to build relationships with this crucial audience and be known as reputable, knowledgeable and fully compliant. However, given how complex international contractor tax compliance is, we strongly advise agencies to utilise the services of professionals who are experts in the field and who can provide the right legislative guidance, such as 6CATS, rather than taking this task on themselves.
However, reputable agencies can capitalise on this evolving world of tax legislation by demonstrating that they have formed strategic partnerships for the benefit of their contractors. Enlisting the help of external compliance experts means that you will be in a position to guarantee professionals that they are operating legally and in no danger of breaching any laws. This peace of mind will be invaluable, particularly when it comes to encouraging freelance experts to register with you. To find out how a partnership with 6CATS can benefit your firm and provide you and your contractors with legally compliant advice, contact us today.