August 5th 2015 has long been an important date on the Hudson Contract calendar: It was the deadline for submitting the first set of reports under Onshore Employment Intermediaries legislation to HMRC.
As you would expect from us, everything went smoothly, which means our clients have absolutely nothing to fear from the impact of the new OEI rules.
But it’s a different story elsewhere…
You might remember the history of OEI is littered with casualties, starting in April last year, when thousands of construction workers supplied by agencies were pushed from CIS to PAYE – whether they liked it or not.
Most of the traditional high street agencies and a number of payroll companies decided that instead of trying to understand OEI and the new control test, it was easier to avoid it by pushing everyone into umbrella schemes. But for many operatives, the first they knew, was when their earnings were less than expected, and backed up by confusing payslips.
Many objected and some threatened to down tools, but the agencies tried to justify themselves by saying, ‘Everyone’s doing the same. Even Hudson Contract.’
At Hudson Contract, we worked hand-in-hand with every client, putting new processes and extra auditing in place to comply with the legislation. Which is why OEI holds no fears for us – or for you.
Meanwhile, in the run-up to 5th August, panic has again swept through the payroll companies who had decided to do nothing, hoping an easy solution would present itself before the legislation took hold.
We’ve heard about intermediaries making eleventh-hour phone calls, insisting it was the client’s responsibility to report under OEI.
Nonetheless, it appears some clients of those payroll businesses have indeed sent in reports – and in doing so, have inadvertently registered themselves as employment intermediaries.
Others checked with us, and then flatly refused, correctly stating that it was the intermediary’s job to report rather than theirs.
It will probably be weeks and months before HMRC has finished sifting through the mass of OEI reports and worked out who to fine, and who to inspect. The certainty is that we haven’t, by any means, heard the last of OEI. We’ll keep you informed. . .
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