The latest Syntax NHS blog post.....Off-payroll engagements

22nd Jul 2014

Off-payroll workers (typically known as contractors or temps) play an important role in helping NHS departments meet short-term needs for specialist advice and interim services. The majority of these types of arrangements are in place for legitimate commercial reasons.

However, the number of off-payroll engagements found in a government review, and the length and size of these contracts, suggested it was possible for artificial tax minimisation to be taking place.

Over the last few months, our NHS team have been seeing a very varied and sometimes confused approach within our NHS client base to managing their contractual rights to seek assurance that the off-payroll worker is meeting their income tax and National Insurance obligations.

We have examples where our clients have invested in additional legal advice and have decided to seek assurances from every single contractor, regardless of rate or length of contract. We have others using the guidelines as a template to work to and seeking assurances from those on £220 per day+ or on contracts for 6 months or longer.

What is clear is that it is absolutely essential that NHS Departments are able to assure themselves that their off-payroll workers are meeting their tax obligations.

One thing that was becoming apparent was the documentation our clients were originally wanting their off-payroll workers to sign was confusing, sometimes incorrect or contradictory, and not communicated clearly to the workers. All this led to wasted time, unsettled teams, and even contractors leaving for contracts at other organisations.

We’ve worked with our clients to produce documents that are a lot more user friendly and simple to understand, and we’ve made sure everyone understands the background to this and why they are being asked to sign the documents. It is now part of our contractor onboarding process.

We’ve also reviewed that our umbrella company preferred suppliers are fully compliant, and are pleased to confirm that anyone who is paid via our trusted umbrella suppliers will automatically be having the correct levels deducted from their pay, and transferred to HMRC.

If you have any questions at all relating to off-payroll engagements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, Jeremy Gibson (Co-Owner & Director), on or 01332 296128 / 07930 437012.