The problem for recruitment agencies when placing contractors is that it’s not just their reputation on the line when they’re on assignment. If you want to be taken seriously as a contract recruiter and build a solid name, it is vital that you have a compliant chain of suppliers to compliment your hard work.
For ten years, the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association has been providing accreditation to umbrella companies and accountants, allowing them to be recognised for their strength and commitment to accountability. Consequently, recruitment agencies needing a sound partner to assist with the supply of personnel, especially when large PSLs are at stake, can rely on FCSA accreditation to guarantee that the organisations they choose to work with have been comprehensively and independently audited.
If you’re asking why it’s so important to have a compliant umbrella company in your supply chain, or you are not aware of the issues that can arise with non-compliance; let us enlighten you. Some companies provide solutions that somehow circumvent the necessity to pay the required level of income tax and/or national insurance which provides contractors with handsome earnings. The problem with these companies is that sooner or later HMRC will come knocking at the door of those parties in the contractual chain to recover the shortfall in tax as a result of the generous, yet compliance-lacking arrangements used to engage contractors.
In effect, a non-compliant company that, for example, offers take-home pay of over 80%, is not running an umbrella company, they are likely offering a tax-avoidance scheme. The role of a compliant umbrella company is to enter into engagements with contractors and pay the correct amount of tax and national insurance on each contractor’s earnings, not to avoid paying them. Every aspect of your supply chain must be watertight and accountability rests on your shoulders. An HMRC investigation of your agency as a result of poor supply chain choices could be an extremely damaging mistake.
To become accredited with the FCSA is not an easy process. Their function is to make life easier for recruiters by removing the daunting challenge of finding an umbrella company or accountancy practice that won’t jeopardise the supply of contractors. The FCSA has a strict code of compliance that all members must adhere to. Before accreditation is awarded, every organisation must undergo a rigorous, independent audit to ensure that the FCSA’s highest standards of transparency and compliance are met.
The FCSA pride themselves on ensuring that all members maintain their codes of conduct and continued compliance. As a result, every FCSA accredited member is further audited annually and all audits are conducted independently of the FCSA. The FCSA take compliance very seriously and becoming accredited is a tough process, but infinitely rewarding as it imparts instant recognition of the level of compliance and quality of service provided by an accredited organisation.
Liberty Bishop are proud to be fully accredited members of the FCSA. The services we provide have been audited and recognised for their transparency and commitment to full compliance. We are here to partner with recruitment agencies and happy to answer any questions you might have about choosing to engage with Liberty Bishop.