The contingent labour supply chain plays an increasingly vital role to the economy and it is estimated that there are now more than two million contractors working in the UK. The transition from an economy based on the traditional PAYE employment model to a vast network of freelancers, contractors and single limited companies continues apace and is only destined to accelerate. The emergence of the so-called 'gig economy' on the back of the stratospheric rise of the likes of Uber, Deliveroo and even Amazon, have further transformed the very notions of what actually defines an 'employee' and prompted a myriad of legal challenges in the courts. Add to this the explosive growth of the recruitment industry and it is little wonder then that the sector has attracted increased Government scrutiny and a subsequent raft of legislative regulations.
The net result of all these macro socio-economic macro factors has been a seismic shift in the reputation of payroll providers commonly known as 'umbrella' companies. Previously implemented 'Offshore...' legislation quickly curtailed the activities of numerous unscrupulous providers who negated UK tax laws by basing themselves elsewhere whilst offering contractors up to 95% take-home pay on their earnings. The streamlining of the payroll sector was given further impetus when home-to-work travel and subsistence expenses were largely curtailed in 2016. These two factors alone slashed the profitability of many umbrella businesses and forced a dramatic rethink on how to win and maintain agency clients who, themselves, were terrified by the potential risk of supply chain debt-transfer.
Despite the protestations of many, the legislation has succeeded in cleaning up the payroll industry and given legitimate providers the opportunity to flourish. The growing influence of both Professional Passport and the FCSA (Freelance & Contractor Service Association) has also provided a transparent benchmark for compliance which is now recognised and understood by agency owners and indeed, end-user clients. It is now difficult to imagine how any 'umbrella' company can operate in a market which has finally acknowledged the importance of true compliance.
With this in mind, the list of 'umbrella' companies has shrunk considerably and those that remain have been forced to examine the merits of their commercial propositions. Recruiters are notoriously loath to part with their cash so adding genuine commercial value to any given relationship has become imperative. The days of throwing in a few Perkbox contractor subscriptions, or the odd night out on the razz for directors, has diminished in favour of legitimate benefits which truly enhance the performance of an agency, or the earning potential of contractors.
And this is where Simplify has rewritten the proverbial rule book. Offering four weeks unlimited free credit has the potential to transform an agencies cashflow position and business performance. The impact of such generous terms empowers agency owners to invest in their businesses unencumbered by expensive loan agreements or factoring arrangements. With the company cashflow effectively liberated, acquiring other businesses, purchasing company premises or increasing headcount becomes an instant reality; the potential opportunities are endless.
Contractors also benefit from their agencies relationship with Simplify; weekly holiday pay as standard and financing Apprenticeship Levy contributions are anathema to the wider industry and highlight a sincere desire to support the worker.
These collective benefits serve to demonstrate the enlightened attitude adopted by Simplify which remains unique in an ever-evolving industry. As with many sectors, fresh ideas and a new approach have served to 'disrupt' the status quo and Simplify, perhaps, almost unwittingly, has succeeded in transforming the payroll landscape for good.
We encourage agency owners and directors who share our ethos to get in touch and arrange a meeting with one of our national sales team who will be delighted to discuss the advantages of choosing Simplify in more detail.