Orion Group is prepared for off-payroll changes and confident of its IR35 compliance

One of the UK’s leading agencies for Oil and Gas, Life Sciences and Engineering contractors, Orion Group, is showing the recruitment industry how to successfully prepare for and manage changes to the off-payroll working rules.

With thousands of contract workers out on assignment at any given time, Orion Group is one of a growing number of agencies that recognised the importance of preparing early for IR35 reform in the private sector which, after a 12-month deferral, will be rolled out on 6th April 2021.

The key decision makers at this global recruitment agency realised that in order to continue placing contract workers and protect themselves from the risks of the IR35 legislation, which fee-paying recruiters will carry next year, a measured approach to the changes was required.

However, despite having a fair understanding of the IR35 legislation already, Orion Group identified several challenges that the reform presents, explained HR Director and Group Deputy Managing Director Ross MacRae:

“IR35 presents a range of challenges not limited to consistent application and interpretation, awareness, complexity, variations between public and private sector, time constraints, cost, uncertainty and threat to business.”

But these concerns aren’t limited to Orion Group. In our experience, while supporting over 2,200 businesses with their IR35 processes, questions about how to consistently determine IR35 status, fears about the ambiguity of the legislation and the significant financial risk IR35 reform poses to recruiters are commonplace.

Orion Case Study
To manage the above challenges, Orion Group approached the team here at Qdos – with whom they already shared a successful relationship – to assist with their IR35 reform preparations.

As one of the leading authorities on IR35, having specialised in the legislation since it was introduced in 2000, Qdos provided a range of leading IR35 solutions via the Qdos Status Review facility, which was designed to help businesses implement changes to the off-payroll working rules.

By working closely with the business, Qdos assisted six of Orion Group’s key clients with a compliant IR35 service before 6th April 2020, the date upon which the reform was initially due to be enforced.

Of the 269 status assessments completed, 93% of contractors were determined as outside IR35 following a rigorous review carried out by one of Qdos’ IR35 specialists. These determinations were then protected by an IR35 insurance policy, also provided by Qdos. Additionally, a number of contracts recognised as a legitimate outsourced provision of labour were reengaged under a Statement of Work (SoW), which Qdos facilitated.

By adopting this approach, Orion Group’s Ross MacRae is confident the business has not only strengthened its relationships with important clients and ensured its IR35 compliance, but is also in a position to attract and retain the contractors it relies on.

“With an extensive contractor network along with Statement of Work activity, project work and large volumes of contracting assignments, Orion Group is well-placed to attract contractors. Many of the contractors on assignment have operated through us many times with different customers.”

Having already implemented the processes needed to minimise disruption and successfully navigate IR35 reform next year, Ross MacRae offered the following advice to other businesses gearing up for the changes:

“Ensure that you are provided with a robust proven process that contractually underwrites you and provides insurance protection. The Orion Group and Qdos partnership is an excellent example of this.”

To download the full case study, please click here.
Qdos is supporting over 2,200 businesses, helping them navigate changes to the off-payroll working rules. The Qdos Status Review facility provides a range of expert IR35 solutions, including IR35 status reviews and IR35 insurance, to allow businesses to compliantly place and engage contract workers. For more information, please email info@qdoscommercialservices.com or phone 0116 478 3390.

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