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Author Archives: John Thorpe

John Thorpe is the Managing Director of Arras People, the project management recruitment specialists

Taxing Times for Project Management Practitioners in the Public Sector

The recent introduction of the updated Off-Payroll Workers (IR35) legislation for the Public sector which became law on the 6th April 2017 has caused much consternation for many project management practitioners involved in the supply of day rate labour. There has been a lot of noise, plenty of speculation, axe grinding and some really interesting observations. But now it is here, we thought it time to put together a simple (but quite lengthy) summary of our understanding of the legislation and how it will impact the workings here at Arras People. The Consultation: As background, Arras People have been involved ...

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Value for Money (VfM) in Project Resourcing

One of the ongoing challenges of recruiting project management practitioners is the desire for the hiring organisation to achieve Value for Money (VfM). This is especially so in the work we undertake in the Public Sector where VfM in some organisation seems to equate to the cheapest available resource! The National Audit Office (NAO) suggests that VfM is about “the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. ‘Optimal’ means ‘the most desirable possible given expressed or implied restrictions or constraints’. Value for money is not about achieving the lowest initial price.” They go on to explain that VfM ...

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Contractors – Can You Afford a Further 11.5% Hair Cut on Your Revenue?

Contractors – 11.5% reduction in rates coming your way? Contractors in the Public Sector may be in for a double whammy if the proposals contained in the “Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation” is passed into law and becomes effective from April 2017. Not only will it change the status of some workers who use a Personal Services Company (PSC) into some kind of pseudo employee for the collection of taxes at source, but the added complication will be the payment of Employers National Insurance. Employers National Insurance contributions (EENIC’s) are paid by employers on ...

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IR35 Changes – New Threat to Your Wealth?

The latest initiative by the HMRC to collect additional taxes from the flexible workforce is going to further confuse the employment landscape in the UK. This initiative, known as the “Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation” which is currently open for consultation; is looking to change the status of workers who use a Personal Services Company (PSC) into some kind of pseudo employee. Whilst initially aimed at the Public Sector, if successfully implemented, it’s hard not to see it rolled out to the Private Sector too! According to the GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/employment-status/employee) a person’s employment status ...

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Let’s Be Agile Together!

As a project manager of many years experience, working both pan sector and discipline, whilst using many different flavours of methodology I have to admit that I am still struggling to position the “Agile” movement in terms of delivering projects. Coming from a manufacturing background I have exposure to Lean (make to stock) and Agile (make to order) and TOC in terms of delivering products. As I remember it, these were always positioned as “philosophies” which an organisation could choose to embrace. Having made their choice to follow a certain path, they then embarked on a top-down implementation of that ...

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The Three Dimensions of Project Management Career Progression

In the course of talking to and managing many PPM practitioners over the years, the question of career progression has come to the fore many times. Typically the discussion has arrived at the point of “is there a natural hierarchy through which PPM practitioners can progress?” If we strip the concept down to three prominent roles in the PPM community as an example, does a Project Coordinator naturally progress to a Project Manager and in turn does this naturally lead to the role of Programme Manager? Like many concepts, at its simplest many would answer yes! The progression is natural ...

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The Project Management Benchmark Report 2016

We launch the latest annual report on the UK and Global Programme and Project Management domain today. The report polled over 2,100 permanent and contract Programme and Project Management professionals during December 2015 and January 2016. You probably saw a lot of that? Well here’s the result of all that effort 🙂 The Project Management Benchmark Report (PMBR) 2016 shows how the UK’s economic turbulence is affecting project management practitioners’ earnings, aspirations and professional life. Having entered 2015 with some green shoots of recovery after ‘the great recession’; further global impacts appear to have stunted some of the optimism and ...

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IR35 and a Case for Misrepresentation

With the UK governments autumn statement due and apparent leaks(1) about the future plans for the treatment of Freelancers (Contractors) it got me wondering if there is some legal recourse that as yet has not been tested, namely MISREPRESENTATION. The UK government seems to be in a quandary. In the positive, it wants us to celebrate the fact that the numbers of new businesses created in the UK is increasing, “there are over 900,000 more businesses now than in 2010” (2) Whilst in the negative, it is concerned that too many workers are no longer caught in the PAYE system ...

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