modern employment

Taylor-made Recruitment | Recruiters Weekly News

The Taylor review into modern employment practices has been published this week. It raises some key questions and provides broad recommendations for the way recruiters should handle the rights of short-term and self-employed contractors in the future.

Self-employment in the gig economy

Some call it the “Uberisation of work”, and we have spoken at length about the increased reliance on short term contractors over the past few months. This week, the government has been advised to take an active role in securing a fairer deal for Britain’s growing temporary workforce. Concerns have grown in recent months over the fairness of current employment practices within the gig economy.

Among the points made by the report, those with the widest impact on recruitment practices include:

  • Businesses must improve transparency of recruitment methods, and the status of every employee;
  • The re-categorisation of long-term, unsecured workers as “dependant contractors”;
  • The use of Big Data to establish rates of piece-work pay
  • The equalisation National Insurance contributions between permanent and temporary workers
  • Plans to end the Swedish Derogation, which permits businesses to pay temporary employees less for completing the same tasks as permanent staff
  • The report gained a considerable amount of news coverage throughout the week. However, most commentators agreed that implementing the recommendations of the report in a real-world context may prove more challenging than hoped.

    Recruitment industry tax scheme draws questions

    The Guardian newspaper this week reported that one of the highest profile names in the world of recruitment has been investigated by HMRC for its promotion of an aggressive tax avoidance scheme.

    The Anderson Group, which provides financial and management solutions to British recruitment firms, sells a recruitment plan which enables larger high street chains to exploit tax loopholes intended to reduce the cost of hiring for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

    Under the scheme, short term and temporary staff are registered to one of thousands of small “mini umbrella” organisations – spreading VAT costs and potentially enabling firms to claim a one-off employment allowance of £3,000 multiple times.

    Although HMRC believes “hundreds of millions” may have been lost to such schemes, it is unlikely they will recoup the losses: many of the mini umbrella organisations are registered overseas; some have already been liquidated.

    From a tech perspective, both of our top stories rest on issues of transparency. If we can address this issue, we may discover wide-reaching solutions. We already know that blockchain technology can be used to produce trustless payment systems. So, could all of our terms of employment one day end up as part of an information database on a public blockchain?

    Drawing a thin blue line through the candidate search

    eBoss operates within a results-driven industry. With our recruitment software, we have developed products that improve outcomes and also save time. Semantic search and candidate tracking functionality help our clients to discover the cream of the crop in a fraction of the time.

    That is why it is always troubling when we see evidence of a recruiter unnecessarily limiting their own candidate searches: today, a software-enhanced recruitment process can be almost limitless in scope, without draining resources.

    This week, Durham Constabulary announced a drive to attract 80 new constables to their ranks: it seemed like a rare, optimistic story from the public sector.

    The part which surprised us, however, was that Durham police have said they will only consider “the first one thousand applicants”.

    Limiting the recruitment process – not with a fixed deadline date, but by the number of applications considered – is an unorthodox decision. Hopefully it pays off, and the force finds that the best 80 candidates were all within those first 1,000 applications. If not, they are setting themselves up for sub-optimal outcomes in the long run.

    In today’s world of advanced software solutions, this was an unnecessary, self-imposed limitation. If, like Durham Police, you do not believe that a fast and efficient software solution is within your budget, come and talk to eBoss – you will be surprised by what you can afford.