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  • Crawford Temple

Recruiters: Be Mindful of False Claims of Approval

Recruitment agencies working with umbrella companies must remain wary about some of the claims these businesses make and not let them influence whether or not due diligence is conducted.

At Professional Passport, we’re seeing an increase in reports of unscrupulous providers falsely claiming they hold one of our accreditations.

As previously discussed, the introduction of IR35 in the private sector and an increased spotlight on compliance means those providers running disguised remuneration schemes are going to great lengths to convince recruiters and contractors they are compliant - even if that means lying or falsifying accreditations and documents.

How do you know who’s accredited?

When it comes to Professional Passport, you can view all of our Approved Providers here. Our list is kept up to date, and we have complete control of it, meaning no company can add themselves.

If a provider claims to have a Professional Passport accreditation but doesn’t appear on this list, stay away and report them to us immediately so that we can take the appropriate action.

Our Approved Providers

To ensure compliance and provide recruitment agencies and contractors with complete peace of mind, Professional Passport’s compliance accreditation terms include:

  • A ban on the use of third-party sellers, lead generation or outsourced marketing arrangements. Providers must operate using their own in-house teams. Failure to adhere to this would mean that a provider’s approved status would be immediately revoked.

  • Confirmation that all income has full PAYE applied in line with HMRC rules and none of the following solutions are offered: EDM, Pay Day by Pay Day, Mini Umbrella, Offshore Pay, loans, or any form of untaxed pay regardless of the label attached to it..

  • All leads received by the accredited company must be handled by that company. No lead can be passed to any third-party organisation that has not been subject to a full Professional Passport compliance review.

You can read more on our Compliance Standards page.

What else should recruiters be aware of?

Other fake or misleading claims used by non-compliant providers include:

“IR35 compliant”

False claims of IR35 compliance are commonly used to lure in contractors who are concerned about the legislation rather than recruiters. However, it’s still important that you look out for it to help protect these workers.

Umbrellas claiming that contractors working under them will be “IR35 compliant” are being deliberately misleading. That’s because the legislation doesn’t apply to umbrella companies due to contractors being their employees.

Be particularly mindful if claims of IR35 compliance go hand-in-hand with promises of more take-home pay for the worker.

“Approved by HMRC”

As a supplier-neutral entity, HMRC does not “approve” companies for complying with tax, employment and company law, so approach any business claiming this with caution.

Once again, if you’re looking to work with a provider that’s earned a legitimate seal of approval, head to the Professional Passport Approved Providers list.

You’re never alone with Professional Passport.

Complete the quick form on our contact page for a member of our team to get in touch and discuss our accreditations and membership with you.

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