With 2017 inaugurating some of the most radical changes to the professional contracting and recruitment sector in recent times, the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) will be hosting a conference that will take place over a full-day in London on 9th February to address the challenges that recruiters, contractors and public sector clients will face.

The ARC will be bringing together an impressive line-up of experts for the event, with recruitment law specialists included amongst the keynote speakers.

In a statement describing the conference, ARC Chairman Adrian Marlowe itemised the issues that it will address, which include the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy. The indications are that, without amendments, the Levy will have a disproportionately negative impact on recruitment agencies and Umbrella Companies.

As it stands, the Apprenticeship Levy will be obligatory for companies with a payroll in excess of £3 million, all of which will be levied at 0.5 per cent of their paybill on a PAYE basis. However, both the ARC and Umbrella Company trade association the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) have strongly objected to the intention to apply the Levy to recruitment organisations and employment intermediaries such as Umbrella Companies, as they have artificially high payrolls. In the latter instance, the paybill consists of contractors and freelancers who undertake work for end-clients (who actually pay the money).

Mr Marlowe questioned whether the Levy has been completely thought through by the Government. The conference will explore how it will affect people wishing to train as apprentices as well as the broader labour supply market.

Another major challenge facing recruiters and contracting professionals in 2017 is the impact of changes to IR35 rules for public sector organisations. Mr Marlowe pointed out that the reforms will make recruiters and hirers responsible for meeting the tax liabilities of their contractors.

He said: “Public sector IR35 rules engender a new era, with agencies and hirers set to meet the tax liabilities of their contractors. How will this affect flexibility in the UK workforce, how will the proposed HMRC online tool work and will it be fit for purpose?

“ARC is aware that concerns over the changes coming in next April are not restricted to the recruitment supply sector, as the public sector and all hirers are also affected. This is reflected not only in the speakers who have confirmed but in those we have invited.”

Keynote speakers include:

  • Ben Grover, Senior Legal Consultant and specialist at recruitment law company Lawspeed
  • Mark Bull, CEO of one of the most prominent specialist recruitment consultancies in the UK, Randstad UK
  • Adrian Marlowe, ARC Chairman
  • Neil Withey, Training and Development Divisional Director at the manufacturers’ organisation EFF

Full details of the conference are available here:

www.arc-org.net/events/public-sector-ir35-and-the-apprenticeship-levy-national-conference/

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