After a lengthy reputation as the “softer” sector, the one where people just plod along, with a misconstrued perception of easy hours and an easy life; in recent years Local Government has fought back and proven that it is fast becoming incredibly resilient, innovative and creative. Having rivalled the private sector with its ability to change, adapt and explore new models of working.
During the last 18 months the NHS interim recruitment market has witnessed several significant changes. Firstly, NHS Improvement applied maximum pay and charge rates for temporary workers for the provider organisations that they oversee. The need for such restriction on interim spend was necessary in some areas, but this ‘one rule fits all’ solution was clearly not fit for purpose in areas where the worker’s core skillset was not NHS specific (e.g. IT, Corporate Services, Change & Transformation) and the new capped rates were not competitive with general market rates. Secondly, the change to IR35 assessments only within the Public Sector has made it highly likely that, as of 6th April 2017, a contractor working through their own personal service company will now pay significantly higher levels of tax for an assignment within the NHS compared with a like-for-like contract within the private sector. These two factors alone have combined to make interim work within the NHS less attractive for contractors compared to just 18 months ago.
Recently, I arranged a webinar aiming to increase contractors’ knowledge of the changes affecting payments made to personal service companies (PSCs) in the public sector, with IR35 being operated by agencies rather than PSCs. While the presentation, led by The Adecco Group’s Employment Tax Manager, was very well received, the Q&A session highlighted an alarmingly low level of understanding among some contractors about the legislative changes, which are due to come into effect on 6 April 2017.
In September, NHS England announced the 12 selected NHS Trusts that will be “Digital Exemplar Trusts” to have access to £100 million funding to invest in digital infrastructure and specialist training, with the ultimate aim of becoming world leaders in health informatics. Read more>
The NHS Improvement (NHSI) agency rules continue to be hailed as a success, but is there more opportunity to realise savings on agency spend? Read More>