British business is feeling the pinch of an acute skills deficit, but no organisation more so than the NHS, where long-term staff shortages have left the service close to crisis. A group of business bodies are advising the new PM to lower the salary threshold for foreign workers from £30,000 to £20,000 in order to ease the situation.
The government have announced a partnership with Amazon Echo (Alexa) that will give people access to expert health information. The voice-assisted technology will automatically search the NHS Choices website when UK users ask for health-related advice.
This month saw Hollywood gear up for the release of Disney’s 1994 smash The Lion King, which got its general release on the 19th. The original stands as the highest grossing traditionally animated film of all time, and with credentials like that, Amaze Umbrella got thinking about what we can learn about creating a roaring LinkedIn profile that makes the director’s cut.
Around 7,000 practices across England have come together to form more than 1,200 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The news follows the Nuffield report, which showed that falling numbers of GPs were placing a huge strain on NHS services. Since a third of appointments don’t require the attention of a family doctor, the PCNs will comprise multi-disciplinary teams, including pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics and social support workers, who will work alongside GPs.
Recent changes to IR35 legislation mean that all contractors should be aware of the facts. Although IR35 is both complex and controversial, the good news is that Amaze Umbrella offers you a fully compliant solution, so that you never have to worry about being caught. Below is a brief explanation of the legislation and how Amaze gives you peace of mind.
With contracting becoming an increasingly popular way of working, there’s been a boom in the number of umbrella companies entering the market. Although this gives contractors more choice when it comes to selecting an employment solution, it can also complicate the process. Many contractors don’t have the time to research various umbrella companies, or know what to look for in a reliable payroll provider. Nearly all umbrella companies will market themselves as compliant, but as recent activity surrounding IR35 has shown, this term can be misleading. Changes in legislation can leave contractors vulnerable to HMRC investigations and large retrospective tax bills. There are a number of unscrupulous employment providers who operate various schemes to reduce tax liability while claiming to be fully compliant. At Amaze, we understand that making the wrong decisions can have serious consequences for contractors. Not only do we aim for maximum compliancy with approval from independent regulators, we also aim for transparency, so that your payment process is clear and straightforward at every stage. Below we’ve put together some guidelines on what to look for when it comes to selecting a compliant umbrella company, and what to avoid.
We are delighted to announce today that Amaze Umbrella has received its accreditation for providing umbrella services from leading professional membership body, The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA). The FCSA exists to safeguard the long-term future of the professional freelance sector for the benefit of the UK economy, by promoting compliance and best practice in order to minimise risk in the supply chain. Our umbrella services accreditation reflects Amaze’s commitment to freelancers, contractors and recruiters that we act professionally and ethically within the UK tax, employment and regulatory laws. Amaze Umbrella’s accreditation demonstrates sound financial stability and that our services are delivered to the highest levels of industry standards. The accreditation was awarded following an independent and rigorous assessment of Amaze Umbrella’s services, operations, policies and procedures, all of which had to adhere to FCSA compliance standards. The testing is carried out independently of the FCSA by regulated accountants and solicitors, and a copy of the audit is submitted to HMRC so that they are aware of which firms are low risk.
As Brexit negotiations continue with their general pattern of ‘one step forward, two steps back,’ there’s some good news for the UK’s contracting sector at least. Despite the ongoing uncertainty, business goes on as usual, and in a competitive market boosted by emerging technology, there’s a growing need for skilled contractors. When innovation is strong, companies simply can’t afford to halt projects and risk falling behind with their products, services and systems. Contractors provide businesses with access to an agile and flexible contingent workforce. This allows them to meet demands in the short-term Brexit ‘gap’, without making long-term commitments that could hurt their budgets later. Most importantly, contractors don’t just represent manpower. They are a highly skilled workforce who can be deployed exactly when and where they’re needed, making them a cost effective business solution.
An investigation conducted by a leading industry body has uncovered statistics that point to public sector organisations making blanket IR35 determinations.
The investigation obtained information from various organisations using a freedom of information request. So far, it’s been revealed that 99% of contractors working for Network Rail and 98% of those working for HS2 were deemed inside off-payroll rules in 2018. HS2 has confirmed the alarming statistic that out of the 1,001 assessments conducted in 2018, only 22 contractors returned an ‘outside’ IR35 verdict.
The BBC has revealed that the UK is seeing the first sustained fall in GP numbers for 50 years. Ongoing research and analysis by the Nuffield Trust shows that the number of GPs has fallen from nearly 65 per 100,000 people in 2014 to 60 last year. The decrease coincides with an increasingly ageing population and record numbers of patients seeking treatment for mental-health-related problems. Subsequent strain on NHS facilities has resulted in patients waiting up to seven weeks for a routine appointment, with those requiring emergency consultations forced to queue outside surgeries in desperation.