Staying up to date on relevant employment legislation is essential to a recruitment agency, but it can eat up a lot of your time as the law continues to update and adapt to our changing times. However, it’s not just a question of looking bad if you overlook a compliance check – it could mean expensive legal action.
At TBOS we’ve seen this happen to more than a few recruiters – thankfully always from afar – and it’s one of the reasons that TBOS Complete clients are thankful for our reminders to check and chase compliance.
Here we take a look at the eight areas where agencies are most likely to miss compliance requirements and how to avoid them.
- Don’t Skimp on Documentation
Each of your clients will handle their paperwork slightly differently and may request different additional information. By checking ahead of time what a given client will want and maintaining a record, you can have all the documentation you need prepared before the contractor begins the placement – which doesn’t just help you comply with legislation but also speeds up the placement process.
- Verify All Contractor Details
While you’re making sure your documentation has all the details on your contractor that the client requires, always verify those details. An incorrectly recorded bank account number is just a headache later, but if you haven’t confirmed your contractor can legally work in the country and holds any unusual qualifications required by the field, that can have serious repercussions.
- Never Overlook Signatures on Contracts
If a signature on a contract is overlooked long enough that the contractor has begun work before it’s signed there’s often an unspoken feeling that getting the contract signed isn’t as important – but those signatures are there as protection against things going wrong. When a contracts have been agreed on and signed, both sides know the terms of the deal and if there’s any dispute there’s something everyone can refer to in order to resolve disputes and protect everyone. Electronic signatures and trigger clauses which mean that the act of starting work constitutes acceptance of the contract can help you stay compliant.
- Keep Your Eye on Agency Workers Regulations
It’s a legal requirement that a contractor placed by an agency receive at least the same payment as a permanent employee in the same role – and that includes employee benefits. Make sure you check in with your client regularly and keep records of the information you have and when you received it, in case you need to provide these records during future disputes.
- Does Your Client Abide by AWR?
Having a list of approved Umbrella Companies is always a good idea, but you should also always know your clients’ companies and be sure they follow AWR and have fully compliant processes. Keeping your records of these checks up to date isn’t just a good tool but will also be useful in the event of legal action being brought by a contractor.
- If You Have Placements Abroad, Know Both Sets of Laws
Before you even attempt to place a contractor in a role in another country, make sure you’ve looked over the relevant laws there too. If your placement is ineligible trouble will await. Also, make sure you check the relevant financial regulations! Withholding tax and other issues can mean that you wouldn’t see a return on your work, and that’s never a good situation.
- Fraud Against Recruitment Agencies
While the other six steps will protect you not just against legitimate claims but many types of recruitment fraud, there are other forms to be careful around. We recommend you familiarise yourself with the fraud guidelines at Safer Jobs, and always double and triple check your work before making a placement.
- Maintain Data Collating
Both PAYE candidates and any work requiring limited or umbrella company payments will involve regular submissions – Real Time Information submissions for PAYE candidates and HMRC Quarterly Intermediary Reporting for limited/umbrella companies – so keeping your candidate date fully collated keeps you ready at all times and makes compliance easy.
We at TBOS want to be sure our client agencies and recruiters never fall into these traps, so we’ve created and continue to update lists like these for your benefit – but nothing’s a substitute for making your own checks, and we will always try to point our clients toward the checks they need to make.