Within our industry, we are used to various challenges, and we often need to adapt or adjust depending on what comes along. In recent times, we have had AWR, the introduction of match pay and Swedish derogation, pension auto enrolment and RTI hit all businesses, as well as the onshore legislation that followed the offshore one, all making operating in this space interesting.

However, not often does challenge come all at once. With the new finance bill aimed at removing the tax benefit for travel expenses if such expenses are sacrificed against other taxed income, the ongoing OTS consultation around business expenses for intermediaries and the forthcoming consultation on “direction, supervision and control”, I think this next 12 months will again be a defining one for the industry and the wider recruitment space.

Will we see a mass migration to PSC offerings where agencies, unsure of how umbrella might be working, take the easy option of sending all workers limited. With the enforcement of direction, supervision and control, will HMRC push the burden onto the agencies in the same way they have on the self-employed through the “onshore legislation”? What will come of direction, supervision and control – will this ultimately replace IR35? Time will tell.

With all this uncertainty ahead, we have decided to launch our new “update service” aimed at keeping our workers and agencies’ clients up to date on what is happening as it happens. I am sure the road ahead will be challenging at times and, as always, we are here to help guide and rebuff the myths that will be spread around, while making light work of the jargon and legal speak.

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