Compliance with legislation and regulations in the supply and engagement of workers is seen by many as a minefield which continues to evolve as the EU and UK government introduce more and more legislation in this key area.

As an Agency, Arras People work with our clients to ensure that our interactions comply with the latest legislation. Below we identify some of the key legislation that has a direct impact on how we operate.

2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018 and builds upon the Data Protection legislation that is currently in operation in the UK. The government has already confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR and thus Arras People are working to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. – read more

In the UK we are being guided by the Information Commissioners Office who are publishing guidance on these matters – read more


2017 Off-Payroll Workers in the Public Sector (IR35)

Updated Off-Payroll Workers (IR35) legislation for the Public sector became law on the 6th April 2017 and impacts the supply of non-payroll workers to identified public sector bodies.

The legislation was updated by HMRC in order address public sector contractors (Limited company PSC’s) who they felt were “not paying the right tax” under the existing IR35 legislation. In addition, HMRC felt that many of these positions were in fact being undertaken by disguised full-time employees rather than bona fide contractors.

The new legislation impacts any “public authority” where a public authority as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or; a Scottish public authority as defined by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 13) or; Corporate Officer of the House of Commons or the House of Lords or; the National Assembly for Wales Commission or; the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission.

The client (the hiring organisation) now has the responsibility to determine the status of each position which it is looking to fill in its organisation on or before the time of entry into a contract for supply. In taking this decision they must take reasonable care in coming to its conclusion.

HMRC have developed and made available a web-based tool called CEST (Check Employment Status for Tax)  which will help in this process, though interestingly it is not prescribed.

So, as an agency we will be asking for the IN/OUT decision before we commence any work on any new opportunity from a public sector client.

Where the decision is IN, i.e., the Intermediaries Legislation applies, we will accept this decision without any further need for proof of how the decision was arrived at and make the decision clear to all potential candidates.

Where the decision is OUT, i.e., the Intermediaries Legislation does not apply, we will require the client to provide a copy of the output generated by the ESS tool which supports the decision. Whilst this is not mandated in the legislation, HMRC have said that they will stand by any decision generated by the ESS tool providing it has been completed fairly and honestly.

Further reading on GOV.UK can be found here

Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR)

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) came into force in the UK on the 1st October 2011

The Regulations stem from the EU Temporary Workers Directive 2008 which gives agency workers the right to the same pay and other working conditions enjoyed by a hirer’s own workers.” REC, 2011

The key facts;

  • The Regulations have 2 elements
    • Day 1 rights – for all agency workers:  from 1st October you must ensure that they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.
    • After 12 weeks in the same job: The equal treatment entitlements relating to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) come into effect. This is not retrospective and for those agency workers already on assignment, the 12 week qualifying period will start from 1 October 2011.
  • The rights the agency worker can expect after the 12 week period is limited compared to the rights of permanent employees.

Limited company contractors (PSC’s) and the self-employed are excluded however “the question of whether a limited company contractor is or is not covered by the Regulations will depend on whether or not the individual meets the definition of an agency worker.” REC, 2011

Further reading on GOV.UK can be found here

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010 and its aim is to provide a simpler, more consistent and more effective legal framework for preventing discrimination. The aim of the Act is to reform and harmonise discrimination law, and to strengthen the law to support progress on equality. It replaced the following equality legislation:

  • the Equal Pay Act 1970
  • the Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • the Race Relations Act 1976
  • the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • the Equality Act 2006, Part 2
  • the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

Protected Characteristics
The Equality Act covers the same groups that were previously protected by legislation and now calls them `protected characteristics´:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity

Further reading on GOV.UK can be found here

IR35 Intermediaries Legislation April 2000

The introduction of IR35 (Intermediaries Legislation) on the 6th April 2000 was targeted to counter the avoidance of employed levels of tax and National Insurance by individuals providing their services through a Limited Company or PSC (Personal Services Company) as they became known.

The key point was that the onus for adherence was placed on the PSC and as such many organisations and recruiters took steps to ensure that they removed any liability to HMRC by insisting that all contingent (non-payroll) workers were supplied through a PSC or Umbrella which created unintended consequences (read more).

There is much case law around this subject which can be found on the web as the situation is not always as simple as it may at first appear. Further reading can be found at:

The introduction of the 2017 Off-Payroll Workers in the Public Sector (IR35) is seen by many as a first step in changing the emphasis of this legislation and it is anticipated that the changes applied will also be implemented in the Private sector.




Off-Payroll Working in the Private Sector (IR35) April 2020

The impact of IR35 on the recruitment of contingent Project Management practitioners in the Private Sector will increase significantly from April 2020.

With the IR35 rules once again in the process of being updated, it is imperative that all involved update their understanding of how the IR35 rules impact their operations.

HMRC’s proposed changes have been subject to a public consultation which closed on 28th May 2019 and we await the outcome of this process. The consultation document outlined the proposed changes and indicated how the private sector would be impacted, once the new rules are introduced.

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One of the lessons the team at Arras People have learned over the years is that Programme and Project Management has a vast array of titles, many of which have different meanings depending upon the organisation, the sector or even the individual looking to hire.
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