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View Full Version : SThree have launched their IR35 product



eek
8th March 2017, 07:40
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/computer-futures-ir35-client-public-sector-products-david-curtis?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3Be3SM0r8a NSm3N3%2F0aviZrg%3D%3D

Main bits of interest are:-


QDOS review
Where an ‘Outside IR35’ determination has been provided as a result of Status Review, the liability for mis-classification will be undertaken by S3....


The important bit to emphasis here is that if an agency is making the determination that agency needs to be big enough to stand by the decision and be able to pay the bill if its wrong.

An outside determination from a small (back bedroom agency) isn't really the best offer in the new marketplace.

northernladuk
8th March 2017, 08:19
Scheme isn't the best word to use surely?

Fred Bloggs
8th March 2017, 08:38
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/computer-futures-ir35-client-public-sector-products-david-curtis?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3Be3SM0r8a NSm3N3%2F0aviZrg%3D%3D

Main bits of interest are:-


QDOS review
Where an ‘Outside IR35’ determination has been provided as a result of Status Review, the liability for mis-classification will be undertaken by S3....


The important bit to emphasis here is that if an agency is making the determination that agency needs to be big enough to stand by the decision and be able to pay the bill if its wrong.

An outside determination from a small (back bedroom agency) isn't really the best offer in the new marketplace.
Goodnight IPSE's business model of selling IR35 insurance then eh? At least for public sector workers. S3's move can only open the flood gates to the other major agencies, I feel. It has the feeling of saying to HMG and HMRC "yah boo sux". Brookson took the same stance (in a very different way) against IR35 with their composite companies and eventually were legislated against with the MSC regs. This is the next phase of the great cat and mouse game with the stakes getting ever higher.

eek
8th March 2017, 08:54
Scheme isn't the best word to use surely?

I was going to use solution but for those with a longer memory that phrase is actually worse....

MrMarkyMark
8th March 2017, 08:58
I was going to use solution but for those with a longer memory that phrase is actually worse....

As long as you don't prefix it "Sunday" you will be OK :wink

teapot418
8th March 2017, 09:05
The client has the choice of using HMRC's tool (which HMRC have said they'll stand by), or S3's QDOS offering, which HMRC could challenge. With both, the client will (presumably) need to confirm their understanding of contract terms and working practices.


Subject to final legislation, liability is already with the payer, so that's no different.

What am I missing? Not wanting to be negative, just to understand :)

teapot418
8th March 2017, 09:14
I was going to use solution but for those with a longer memory that phrase is actually worse....

product?

BoredBloke
8th March 2017, 09:16
As long as you don't prefix it "Sunday" you will be OK :wink

Or final

MrMarkyMark
8th March 2017, 09:21
Or final

Met a couple just the other Christmas when I was out with my family at one of their friends.

They used to work for Sunday Solutions when it went t*ts up, but then had then gone on to create their own scheme.

They then started to try and sell to me, I made it very clear why I wasn't interested and why.

The best that they could come up with as far as defence to my rhetoric was that the scheme was "QC approved." :rollin:

eek
8th March 2017, 09:23
The client has the choice of using HMRC's tool (which HMRC have said they'll stand by), or S3's QDOS offering, which HMRC could challenge. With both, the client will (presumably) need to confirm their understanding of contract terms and working practices.


Subject to final legislation, liability is already with the payer, so that's no different.

What am I missing? Not wanting to be negative, just to understand :)

The client has little incentive to generate an outside result with the tool (except when they really cannot find a candidate in which case which decision is HMRC going to use).

S3 are instead guiding the client through the process (probably ensuring they fill in the form correctly in such a way that the answer reads outside). They are also checking that the working practices are outside (given that the contract will be standard - that's all that QDOS needs to do).

You then also have an agency that knows how things need to work to keep people outside so if things start looking wrong at the end client (scope creep, can just look at) you can be sure S3 will step in and advice the client that they can't do that...

Hence (and I'm trying hard not to make this a sales pitch for I'm not on commission) while any initial client may say you are outside there is a risk that the clients behaviour may eventually lead you into being inside. With S3 that's less likely to occur as the agency can advice the client that they can't do that....

eek
8th March 2017, 09:24
Met a couple just the other Christmas when I was out with my family at one of their friends.

They used to work for Sunday Solutions when it went t*ts up, but then had then gone on to create their own scheme.

They then started to try and sell to me, I made it very clear why I wasn't interested and why.

The best that they could come up with as far as defence to my rhetoric was that the scheme was "QC approved." :rollin:

Did you ask how good the lunch was?

pscont
8th March 2017, 09:27
S3 are selling fried air.

DaveB
8th March 2017, 09:28
The client has little incentive to generate an outside result with the tool (except when they really cannot find a candidate in which case which decision is HMRC going to use).

S3 are instead guiding the client through the process (probably ensuring they fill in the form correctly in such a way that the answer reads outside). They are also checking that the working practices are outside (given that the contract will be standard - that's all that QDOS needs to do).

You then also have an agency that knows how things need to work to keep people outside so if things start looking wrong at the end client (scope creep, can just look at) you can be sure S3 will step in and advice the client that they can't do that...

Hence (and I'm trying hard not to make this a sales pitch for I'm not on commission) while any initial client may say you are outside there is a risk that the clients behaviour may eventually lead you into being inside. With S3 that's less likely to occur as the agency can advice the client that they can't do that....

S3 have certainly moved on from their reputation a few years ago. I recall threads on here that routinely condemned them and their group companies as some of the worst agencies to work though.

site:forums.contractoruk.com S3 group (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site%3Aforums.contractoruk.com+S3+group&oq=site%3Aforums.contractoruk.com+S3+group&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58.9214j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

eek
8th March 2017, 09:35
S3 have certainly moved on from their reputation a few years ago. I recall threads on here that routinely condemned them and their group companies as some of the worst agencies to work though.

site:forums.contractoruk.com S3 group (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site%3Aforums.contractoruk.com+S3+group&oq=site%3Aforums.contractoruk.com+S3+group&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58.9214j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

Yep - that's not to say they are going to be perfect. But currently if I was hunting for a public sector contract I would trust S3 to give me a trustworthy valid outside IR35 decision than any other agency....

MrMarkyMark
8th March 2017, 09:37
Yep - that's not to say they are going to be perfect. But currently if I was hunting for a public sector contract I would trust S3 to give me a trustworthy valid outside IR35 decision than any other agency....

Mainly down to AH's influence I believe.

I wouldn't have touched the S3 stable a few years back!!

jamesbrown
8th March 2017, 09:37
I was going to use solution but for those with a longer memory that phrase is actually worse....

Strategy? :D

I don't see a particular problem with this, because there's no attempt to circumvent the rules. Either the client and S3 define WPs that are clearly outside, and the review passes, or they don't. In many cases, the PSB will not be willing or able to agree to WPs that are clearly outside, but I don't see anything wrong with the approach taken, and it should be agreeable to HMRC too (afterall, having the client and fee payer act as gatekeeper is the whole point, right? :D).

MrMarkyMark
8th March 2017, 09:38
Strategy? :D

I don't see a particular problem with this, because there's no attempt to circumvent the rules. Either the client and S3 define WPs that are clearly outside, and the review passes, or they don't. In many cases, the PSB will not be willing or able to agree to WPs that are clearly outside, but I don't see anything wrong with the approach taken, and it should be agreeable to HMRC too (afterall, having the client and fee payer act as gatekeeper is the whole point, right? :D).

For me that is the winner thus far :D

NotAllThere
8th March 2017, 09:42
... I would trust S3...I never thought I'd see that phrase meant in earnest. How times change!

eek
8th March 2017, 09:51
I never thought I'd see that phrase meant in earnest. How times change!

Believe me its a surprise. But its the same as with Contractor Umbrella I have the direct dial of senior people and I know they are clueful....

northernladuk
8th March 2017, 09:55
Believe me its a surprise. But its the same as with Contractor Umbrella I have the direct dial of senior people and I know they are clueful....

I'm sure a lot of senior people running agencies are. It's when you have to deal with the humdrum it starts getting messy.

RonBW
8th March 2017, 10:04
You then also have an agency that knows how things need to work to keep people outside so if things start looking wrong at the end client (scope creep, can just look at) you can be sure S3 will step in and advice the client that they can't do that...

I'd be interested to see how that can work in practice, unless S3 are going to have someone on the ground in every PS client that they work with who is monitoring the individuals (or certainly those in the project that will oversee the work). How can the agency prevent a project manager on a remote project from asking "can you just look at..."? I just don't see that being possible. I'm not convinced that a contractor can "be sure S3 will step in" at all.

S3 need to do a good sales job on all the end clients that they should either complete the ESS in a manner that S3 say they should, or that the end client should not use the ESS and should use their Qdos product instead - neither are likely to be an easy sell, but if anyone can sell it to the client it will be an agent.

DaveB
8th March 2017, 10:26
I'd be interested to see how that can work in practice, unless S3 are going to have someone on the ground in every PS client that they work with who is monitoring the individuals (or certainly those in the project that will oversee the work). How can the agency prevent a project manager on a remote project from asking "can you just look at..."? I just don't see that being possible. I'm not convinced that a contractor can "be sure S3 will step in" at all.

S3 need to do a good sales job on all the end clients that they should either complete the ESS in a manner that S3 say they should, or that the end client should not use the ESS and should use their Qdos product instead - neither are likely to be an easy sell, but if anyone can sell it to the client it will be an agent.

That's going to have to be part of the client education process, and will also rely non the contractor pushing back and saying "No, I can't because it's not part of the scope of my contract. Please go and talk to the hiring manager who understands this."


Of course if they *are* the hiring manager then there is a problem, but reminding them of the arrangements and risks should do the job.

LondonManc
8th March 2017, 10:42
Believe me its a surprise. But its the same as with Contractor Umbrella I have the direct dial of senior people and I know they are clueful....

So you get the clueful to do the needful? :confused:

DaveB
8th March 2017, 10:50
So you get the clueful to do the needful? :confused:

and revert with the updating....

teapot418
8th March 2017, 10:51
and revert with the updating....

updation :spel

RonBW
8th March 2017, 10:55
That's going to have to be part of the client education process, and will also rely non the contractor pushing back and saying "No, I can't because it's not part of the scope of my contract. Please go and talk to the hiring manager who understands this."


Of course if they *are* the hiring manager then there is a problem, but reminding them of the arrangements and risks should do the job.

I agree - it hinges on S3 being able to spot the problems in advance and manage that so that they don't get hit with the liability, and clients realising that you aren't just an arsey contractor saying "no" to their reasonable request.

Which is going to be a very long, drawn out process for S3 and the PSB to work through.

eek
8th March 2017, 11:25
I agree - it hinges on S3 being able to spot the problems in advance and manage that so that they don't get hit with the liability, and clients realising that you aren't just an arsey contractor saying "no" to their reasonable request.

Which is going to be a very long, drawn out process for S3 and the PSB to work through.

It hinges on S3 providing education to the client and the ability to everyone to push back when someone tries push things and that could be the client, it could equally be the contractor going native to remain in contract...

RonBW
8th March 2017, 12:03
It hinges on S3 providing education to the client and the ability to everyone to push back when someone tries push things and that could be the client, it could equally be the contractor going native to remain in contract...

That's going to take a long time to achieve.

DaveB
8th March 2017, 12:10
It hinges on S3 providing education to the client and the ability to everyone to push back when someone tries push things and that could be the client, it could equally be the contractor going native to remain in contract...

I suspect there will be contract clauses requiring notification to S3 of any changes in working practices with the penalty for failure being liability for tax and NI arising as a result.

Andy Hallett
8th March 2017, 14:23
Scheme isn't the best word to use surely?

Agree


product?

Better

Andy Hallett
8th March 2017, 14:38
Thanks for the positive feedback. It's important to point out we are not doing anything to sway determinations. There is strict anti-avoidance around this legislation and for the most part how a contractor contracts is neutral for us.

The "Fried Air" comment made me laugh, to be fair all we are doing is providing a bit of education, organised process and thought leadership.

Andy Hallett
15th September 2017, 19:42
Seems like we did an ok job. Thank you for the support and feedback which did help shape our project.

https://www.sthreecareers.com/en/sthree-blog/shortlisted-for-two-apsco-awards-for-excellence

DaveB
15th September 2017, 20:31
The client has little incentive to generate an outside result with the tool (except when they really cannot find a candidate in which case which decision is HMRC going to use).

S3 are instead guiding the client through the process (probably ensuring they fill in the form correctly in such a way that the answer reads outside). They are also checking that the working practices are outside (given that the contract will be standard - that's all that QDOS needs to do).

You then also have an agency that knows how things need to work to keep people outside so if things start looking wrong at the end client (scope creep, can just look at) you can be sure S3 will step in and advice the client that they can't do that...

Hence (and I'm trying hard not to make this a sales pitch for I'm not on commission) while any initial client may say you are outside there is a risk that the clients behaviour may eventually lead you into being inside. With S3 that's less likely to occur as the agency can advice the client that they can't do that....

Added to which the HMRC tool essentially ignores case law in a number of instances where as the QDOS review will properly reflect the legislation as it stands. Or at least, it should.