Amid the stark and unfortunate reality of non-compliant umbrella companies and undelivered promises from the government to combat tax avoidance and unsanctioned deductions from payments in the temporary working industry, umbrella company compliance expert, PayePass, has appointed former FCSA chief, Julia Kermode, as its new CEO.
HMRC data suggests that between 2007/08 to 2022/21, there was a 400% increase in the number of individuals operating via umbrella companies in the UK. This sector of the flexible workforce grew from 100,000 to well over 500,000.
Meanwhile, promises from the government dating back to 2017, to regulate the umbrella industry, remain undelivered. This is despite the introduction of the off-payroll working rules in the private sector in 2021, which PayePass says means the true figure of individuals working via umbrella companies is likely to be much more than 500,000.
Julia Kermode has a wealth of experience in the temporary employment sector, having single-handedly grown the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) – successfully converting it from obscurity to being widely recognised within the employment sector.
Her appointment is the first stage in PayePass’ strategy to provide the entire supply chain with complete reassurance regarding compliance.
Julia Kermode, PayePass CEO, commented on her appointment, “This is a critical time for the umbrella sector. Years of failed promises from the government, which continues to turn a blind eye to staggering tax avoidance and other well-publicised financial wrongdoing means it’s a case of now or never for this vital industry.
“Hundreds of thousands of people work this way, with recruitment agencies and end clients relying on umbrella companies to provide them with mission-critical flexible skills. In recent years, following the roll-out of the off-payroll working rules, umbrella working has grown considerably. But the fact remains that not enough is being done to ensure compliance; I intend to bring about a wholesale change to that.
“Right now, the UK’s temporary workforce is critical as we navigate a challenging economy. Everyone – from umbrella workers themselves to recruiters and end-clients – needs confidence in an umbrella company’s compliance. Anything less than the full financial auditing that PayePass provides is quite simply not enough, given dodgy practices occur before money even reaches payroll.
“That’s why I’ve taken on this position. PayePass is uniquely placed to combat the rising tide of non-compliant umbrellas and give the many legitimate umbrella companies the platform from which to grow.”