Kingsbridge preparing recruiters for the IR35 reforms

On Friday 29th November , Kingsbridge played host to an industry insight event in London designed to prepare recruiters for…

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On Friday 29th November , Kingsbridge played host to an industry insight event in London designed to prepare recruiters for the 2020 private sector IR35 reforms and launch Kingsbridge’s long anticipated IR35 insurance solutions.

Chaired by Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo, the event saw two panels of experts answer questions on the upcoming reforms and what they mean from a recruiter’s perspective. The event was not to be all doom and gloom. Instead it was about exploring solutions and new opportunities, and how Kingsbridge are leading the sector in overcoming the negative reactions to IR35.

Tax & Legal

The day began with the panel discussions. The first panel focused on tax and legal matters and included Andy Vessey (Head of Tax, Larsen Howie), Nicola Hayman (Legal Manager, Kingsbridge), Tania Bowers (General Counsel, APSCo), and John Chaplin (Associate Partner, EY People Advisory Services).

A quick show of hands demonstrated that not many people in the room felt prepared for IR35, which, according to the panel, reflected the much more general picture across the UK’s recruitment market. Chaplin pointed out that many of his clients were only in the early stages of preparations and time was running out, especially since recruiters, as fee-payers, are the party liable for ensuring correct tax is paid. After hearing from everyone on the panel, it emerged that recruiters should see this as an opportunity to reposition relationships with their clients and they can do this through taking the lead on communication, ensuring the supply chain is engaged, educating end clients and contractors, and offering solutions to clients to they can be guided through the changes. As Hayman puts it, leaving clients to panic will just result in them saying they don’t want to use contractors anymore.

Commercial & Industry

The second panel had a focus on commercial and industry issues and was made up of Thomas Wynne (Managing Director, Kingsbridge), Charlie Cox (Commercial Manager, SThree), Richard Harris (Chief Legal Officer, Resource Solution), and Julian Ball (Legal Director, PayStream).

The panel quickly established that the response of banks should not be seen as reflective of the wider UK market contractors will still have their place in the workforce. Recruiters, then, should set about making themselves as appealing to the best contract talent possible. The panel also discussed that, while scope of work contracts may become increasingly common, they should not be seen as a magic bullet’ for avoiding dealing with IR35. Proper determination still needs to be carried out. Again, communication and a proactive approach from recruiters emerged as a theme, but the panel also encouraged reflection on the part of recruiters, to look at their supply chain and ensure they’re running a tight ship. After all, liability sits with them.

IR35 Protect Insurance

The day ended with Thomas Wynne unveiling Kingsbridge’s brand new IR35 insurance solutions. The three IR35 Protect packages have launched alongside our revamped Legal Expenses cover and offer three options to contractors: Essential, Standard, and Premium.

They offer everything our Legal Expenses Cover does, with the addition of ¬£100,000 of cover for taxes and interest from HMRC, and penalties from HMRC. Standard and Premium, also offer the option of IR35 Assessments by our expert panel. Standard offers one review, while Premium gives the luxury of unlimited reviews. They remove all tax liability from the recruitment supply chain and can be purchased by anyone in that supply chain, but will protect everyone by indemnifying the party deemed liable under the legislation. Even better, the policy doesn’t change if the end client changes through the year, as long as the role is not materially different.

Kingsbridge are hosting an Industry Insight webinar on the 17th December. Nicola Hayman (Legal Manager) & Thomas Wynne (Managing Director) will go into detail about IR35 Protect and also summarise discussions that took place at the Industry Insight event.

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