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Our History

Celebrating twenty years of compliance, reliability and surety

By David Jackson, Hudson Contract Founder, Chairman and former Managing Director  

Supporting the future of construction
2017
Jan

Overview of Hudson Contract's Apprentice Sponsorship Event held at The Spa, Bridlington in January 2017

2016
Looking forward to another twenty years
May
Birthday_cake.jpg

Twenty years since we started

The second week in May and the birthday cake will be lit and shared with the team. And it is very much a team approach to delivering the Hudson Contract service. Lesley and I couldn’t have grown the business in the way that we have without having the best and most loyal of people around us. The attention to detail and unfailing delivery of our team of 34 staff has contributed to millions of payments being made, on the due day and without failure.

Apr
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Another thing Churchill said

"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." I suppose that’s the Hudson Contract we have established. We certainly aim to be perfect in meeting all our obligations to both clients, operatives and statutory authorities.

2015
Change, it’s the only constant
Dec

A problem shared...

My wife Lesley is joint owner of Hudson Contract. She is behind every key consideration. There have been many long and sometimes demanding decisions shared between us. Some around the breakfast or dinner table, some at five in the morning. Whatever we have achieved in our business, I couldn't have played my part without her love and support. She is my rock and our family inspiration.

Apr

My Role as Chairman

Into the second year under OEI compliance and were able to consolidate our revised processes with analysis, segmentation and a huge quantity of evidence. Due diligence is a discipline we never fail to apply fully. With Ian as Managing Director, Lesley Jackson as Commercial Director, David Bradley as Operations Director and John-Lee Thompson as General Manager, the decision to take the Chairman role was a progressive decision. My responsibilities are now as the company strategist and sounding board. I retain control of the finances with weekly KPI reports and 'interfere' occasionally with policies. My main focus is our brand and how I want Hudson Contract to be seen. Comments always welcome, good or bad, just email me.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
2014
Audit, Contract & Payroll
Jun
Mar

The next challenge

OEI regulations and four Hudson Companies emerge. We were quite clearly in the business category of being an employment intermediary, and proudly onshore. Despite having less than three weeks notice to comply with the regulations, we were forewarned and forearmed. Audit procedures, existent since 2006, were beefed-up considerably. Four contract documents reflected differential self-employment status and full employment status. Payroll process changes were necessary with some short-term measures but eventually with our bespoke software and full compliance under OEI was assured.

More
Apr
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A gold watch due

The start of my first building business in 1987 coincided with my Dad retiring from delivering milk after almost 40 years. So in that first year, he offered to become my book-keeper. He was there at the beginning of Hudson Contract too, noting payments and deductions on green cards. When four Hudsons were devised, he saw it as a time to retire from his “second career” at the age of 87. He still stops by for a coffee now and then. Thanks for all you’ve done Pop.

2013
Action this day!
Nov
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On another front, 2013 was the year in which we realised our sixteenth employment tribunal case outcome and our third with costs awarded.

More
Apr

Further growth, further investment and a cloud spotted. The business growth, evolved from the Cranfield blueprint some five years previous, was serving us well, but not without some adaption, development and further investment over the years. By looking inwardly from time to time, our maxim was to take stock and measure outcomes before proceeding further.

Jul

Action this Day

I vividly remember one key meeting of our sales team at a London hotel. We invited our specialist tax barrister Jolyon Maugham QC to brief the sales team about his ongoing role as one of our key advisors. During the meeting, Jolyon expressed a view on forthcoming change being considered by the Government in the detail of the Finance Act. It was an insightful comment and one we acted upon at once, with the appointment of additional new advisors and an audit of our contract procedures. Good advice has to be recognised and acted upon. We never sit and watch the world go by at Hudson Contract . . . Churchill’s words, ‘”Action this day” have become our unofficial motto.

Sir Winston Churchill

Hudson Contract inspiration

- Sir Winston Churchill
2012
Looking to the future
May

Increased Sales Team, and Payflex Introduced. The growth of Hudson Contract continued by our investing further in more sales staff and the development of better processing software. The sales team continued to adapt and strengthen their approach to potential clients whilst new and innovative bespoke software made client transactions more efficient and effective.

Jan
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Young people need help

This was the year that we began our apprentice sponsorship scheme in the local region. Bridlington and Scarborough both had new skills colleges offering training in plumbing, electrics, bricklaying and joinery. But local builders were mostly jobbing firms of sole traders or partners. So we elected to offer no-strings funding of £50 per week to meet half the first years wage cost. The scheme worked with 14 apprenticeships established with our sponsorship.

2011
Looking after each other
Apr
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Family Matters

One of our oldest clients is a local family firm. The tragedy that they experienced is a reminder that business may seem all-demanding at times, but work / life balance can be cruelly tipped. Josh Fell was just fifteen when he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing football in the street after school. Josh’s parents bravely came out in support of CRY, the charity promoting awareness and screening for Cardiac Risk in the Young. Quite naturally, we have chosen to support them ever since.

Feb

Better service and improved systems

Ian Anfield came forward with a policy to better meet client needs which we adopted throughout the year. David Bradley began a complete re-write of our bespoke software to improve our systems and processing. Both proved their worth and were a good example of our management team (the Directors) developing the business further.

More
2010
Looking to the future
Jun

Having realised a steadying of business turnover and our client-base, we elected to invest in growth by appointing more sales staff to the Hudson Contract team. We also concentrated our marketing campaigns with a new website and wider communications. We may have increased our spending and staff costs but we had a new message to send to potential clients and the positive strategy began to pay with growth once more.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
2009
Recession bites, construction shrinks by 100,000 operatives
May

What are the prospects of company growth when one in seven of those we cater for are tipped off building sites and every client we service shrinks their operational output?

Our growth may have stalled but the insights and strategy developed at Cranfield prevented us from shrinking in all statistical terms. We concentrated our efforts on better client service and wider support.

Jan

Construction flows in seven year cycles

That was something my Uncle Brian said to me around 1990 and in the previous recession. He was then a site manager for Barratt and had seen many cycles of growth and drop-off. If he meant seven years up and seven down, it doesn’t seem to be too far wrong.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
2008
Squeeze the Lemons...
Sep

Why do this?

Perhaps if I’d lived and developed business in a city environment, I’d have had good access to insights, advice and role models. But Bridlington? On the East coast of Yorkshire? Not the most commercially vibrant a centre for business development of a unique B2B service. But as I’ve said many times in reference to our being trusted with huge responsibility and sums of money, “we’re on the coast, not offshore.” And why this year did we start supporting Children with Cancer UK? Family reasons of course and another positive outcome thanks to the organisations research funding.

Jan

Cranfield School of Management

I enrolled on a program specifically for business owner-managers which began by asking the question “Where am I now? How did I get here? Where am I going? How will I get there?” The program team boasted I’d get the £9,500 fee back in some way before the end of the program. They were right, many times over. It proved to be one of the best investments I’d ever made. I came out with a strategy for growth and lean operational procedures. A “manual” we developed over the ensuing months to “grow the pie and squeeze the lemons.”

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
2007
A year of changes
Oct

A bold move perhaps

But I remember thinking at the time how such a move, engineered by Jolyon, Stan and I, would put the Hudson business model beyond comparison with all other so-called “competitors.” . But as events evolved a strategy developed. I also felt the time was right to ask step-son Ian Anfield to join the family firm. Another decision which has stood the test of time since he’s now a better M.D. in many ways, than I was!

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
May
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Another move was the one the business made to Mill Lane, to give us much needed bigger space and as a result of Ian joining us, our Manchester office was also established.

Jul

3rd Tax Ruling and High Court

Our return to court was a move of our making but in doing so, we ensured two things from a successful outcome; one was a binding acceptance by HMRC of our business method and standing. The other being absolute proven compliance of all statutory obligations. These outcomes ensured we were perhaps in a service sector of many, but in a class of just one.

More
Apr
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2007 was also the year of a revised procedure to CIS

Gone were the cards and in came on-line verification. HMRC informed us that we had 32,774 subbies 'registered' to Hudson Contract. By way of response, in the first week of operation, we were obliged to inform HMRC that their software was not designed to upload such a large number of operatives . . .

2006
10 years old
May

Appreciative of the past, and moving forward

Two recollections are worth mentioning ten years into the Hudson Contract service. Firstly, I stepped back from the building company and shared the equity between the six lads still working. Secondly, I started paying a standing order to Cancer Research UK, in recognition that I’d personally benefited from treatment in the 80s to overcome Hodgkins disease.

Jan

"Lawful, proper and ethical"

Special Tax Commissioner Dr Avery-Jones described our business service as “Lawful, proper and ethical.” With an approval as clear and succinct as that, we increased our marketing activity and decided to market nationally. I can tell you the mileage I drove that year was considerable, but then all business owner-managers have the “above and beyond” years when push comes to shove and opportunity beckons.

Dr Avery-Jones

Special Tax Commissioner

- Dr Avery-Jones
2005
A very personal service
Oct

Under cross-examination

During the two-day hearing, I had to go onto the witness stand and be cross-examined under oath, by the barrister appointed by the Revenue. He accused me of being in serious breach of our statutory obligations by failing to submit year-end tax returns. “You’re wrong with that accusation and I can prove it” I responded confidently. My father, who was 78 at the time, submitted our year-end documents personally at the Bridlington Tax office. Never trusting of the Revenue since their 1997/8 “serious mistakes” he ensured he obtained a written receipt for the documents. When the court received the receipt during the lunch recess, it prompted a second apology by the Revenue and their barrister.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
May
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A heart-felt thank you

During the tax commissioners hearing, one of our longest standing clients gave evidence of the Hudson Contract service and was thanked by Dr Avery-Jones for the clarity and honesty of his testimony. That client was Glyn Simpson and I remain grateful for his willingness to go to London and give evidence on our behalf. Needless to say, we remain great friends to this day.

Sep

2nd Tax ruling in our favour

Our second challenge from HMRC was based on their refusal to renew our 714 (gross tax) status. They claimed we weren’t fully compliant with document submission under CIS and we challenged that too of course. The outcome was an approval of our business method but one procedural flaw left us pondering an appeal. Something we subsequently acted upon.

More
2004
Green shoots?
Mar

Our first new enquiry in five years

After opting for direct mail to let potential clients know of our service, my first potential sale came from a Manchester contractor. They requested a 9.00 am meet and to make sure I wasn’t late, I was found their offices at around 7.15 before sitting nervously for an hour and a half going over the facts of my presentation. Happily, they signed-up.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
Jan
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David Bradley (who joined in 2001, and is still our Director of Operations in 2016) and I designed some marketing flyers. They were printed up, stuffed into envelopes all weekend by family members, and then the postman did the rest. We still have some of the flyers in our office, and you can definitely see the ‘home made’ characteristics. That said, the phone rang and new clients joined us.

2003
Lessons learned, decisions made
Jun

Sure-footed in other decisions

Confident that Hudson Contract would flourish, my wife took the decision to sell her second nursery school having sold the first some three years previous. And I took the decision to sell the individual house-costings business service to a mortgage brokers. We were certain of the Hudson business model and ready to push onwards.

Apr
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Wrong-footed into chasing compensation

Following the Tax Commissioners decision, we spent a lot of time responding to the Inland Revenue’s offer of “financial redress.” They have the power to compensate the company for a wrongful procedure and wrong decision. But as we found to our cost, they ran us ragged with their requests for proof of loss and continued to challenge every view we put forward. Four years later, the Adjudicators office approved just £20,000.

2002
1st Tax Ruling in our Favour
Apr
Feb

History made in Bridlington

Represented by our tax barrister Jolyon, the case was heard before the Tax Commissioners sitting at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, in Bridlington. This was something of a first for our barrister and certainly memorable for us all. At the end of a three day hearing of evidence, the case was decided in our favour and the business was allowed to contract and pay under CIS tax deduction. What were the odds? Bloody long ones many would have thought. Certainly our bank manager thought so at the time as we risked a great deal to meet the inevitable costs.

Mar

A nerve-wracking wait

I remember sitting with Jolyon for a bar meal at the end of the second day. “What are our chances of success?” I asked. To which he responded by writing on a slip of paper that he sealed in an envelope and asked me not to open until we knew the outcome. It turned out he’d predicted a 70% chance of success.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
2001
A formal apology
Sep

I remember well sitting at the Lloyd Dowson offices with three Revenue officers and the most senior of them beginning by formally acknowledging they (Ms Cass) got the process of inspection completely wrong. After two and a half years of research, counter-claims and frustration, the words “we took the wrong approach for which we apologise” came as quite a surprise. Two and a half years was quite a short game in Revenue terms, they can play a much longer game than that, as I have come to realise.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
Aug

Revenue accept they did it wrong

We met with the Inland Revenue and they accepted that the inspection was not only incorrect, but that they had failed in their duty to us as tax-payers in failing to carry out an inspection within their own codes of practise.

2000
Next steps...
Feb
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Jan

A New Year’s Resolution to fight the 1998 decision

Sure of our ground we needed representation and Stan Dunn, still to this day, Head of Tax at Lloyd Dowson, sought out and found a young barrister by the name of Jolyon Maugham. He agreed with our position and accepted our instructions to appeal against the inspection process and the 1998 decision. How did I feel about taking on the Revenue? I didn’t have any doubts about who was right and who was wrong by this time, but more importantly, neither did Jolyon. And I’d begun arguing employment status at employment tribunals too by this time. I’d won my first, got lucky in my second and had a union official say to me, “Who do you think you are, Perry Mason?”

1999
Time for a re-match?
May

What was I doing during this time?

My house building company continued with 6 lads working on 2 or 3 projects in a year. I’d also started a house costing service for the self-build market. And I was researching Inland Revenue procedural manuals, looking for clues. At the same time, my wife bought another property and converted it into her second 40-place nursery school.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
Feb

“Never give in.” Sir Winston Churchill

David Dowson, founder and now Chairman of Lloyd Dowson Chartered Accountants, wrote a letter in response to HMRC’s decision of February 1998 saying that whist we did not agree with the decision, the threat of retrospective NIC collection gave us no real choice but to comply. But that was by no means the end of the story . . .

1998
Revenue rule PAYE not CIS
Mar

Sleepless Nights?

Inevitably. When the business lost 230 of the 272 operatives on its books it caused my wife and I (the two of us own Hudson Contract 49% & 51% respectively) many hours of lost sleep. Isn’t that what happens to all who start their own business and take the many risks that go with the venture?

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
Feb

Following this first inspection, the decision was that we were an employment agency and not allowed to tax people under CIS. We disagreed of course but the letter came with a ‘comply or else’ threat that (it was subsequently acknowledged) should never have been made.

1997
HMRC first descend on us
Sep
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Did I see trouble coming?

No I did not. First of all, the business was being run from a 'hut' down at the bottom of the garden. And when the inspector called, she arrived looking like an old aunt coming for tea and biscuits. I was certainly naïve in not preparing at all, and Ms Cass was subsequently proven to be complacent in her approach and suppositions

Apr

An Inspector Calls

An inspector called taking some hand-written notes on a jotting pad. Not the most thorough of inspections and as we later learned, a lot of jumping to conclusions, and as they turned out, the wrong ones!

1996
It was week 5 of the tax year and our first three men were paid
Jul

How we got our name

When I formed Hudson Contract, I had a small house building company in my own name. I wanted a name for the contract and payroll service that was completely autonomous. With part of the Hudson family who pioneered America and Canada buried in the church yard next to my house, I thought I’d 'borrow' their name with the thought that they prospered rather well in life, so might we.

May

Inception: Meeting a need

Like many businesses, we began by solving problem. I met with a man called Howard Watterson who had received an Inland Revenue leaflet that asked: “Are your subbies really your employees?” Howard said to me, “Anyone who can take responsibility for sorting this would earn a fortune.” Three days later, I went back to him with an offer of service, and Howard’s firm became my first client. It was week five of the tax year, three men contracted and paid, and a start-up was born.

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman

- David Jackson
Jun
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