We are very pleased to announce that we are now accredited by Professional Passport for Umbrella and CIS Sole Trader solutions. Professional Passport is the largest independent assessor of payroll solution compliance in the UK. They work with all aspects of the contractor industry from contractors themselves right through to accountancy and umbrella providers. Professional Passport is a fully independent compliance organisation. They have no links, shareholders or investors involved with any agencies, end clients or payroll providers they accredit. This means that they are able to provide unbiased, clear and trustworthy guidance in the increasingly complex and murky world of payroll solutions. Professional Passport is not reliant on advertising income, so they’re never exposed to the inherent commercial pressures that might otherwise conflict with their principles.
How does one become accredited?
The organisation operates on a strict Code of Conduct and Guiding Principles that it, and all its accredited users must abide by. We are, and always have been, fully compliant and with Professional Passport’s approval you don’t have to just take our word for it. Any umbrella or CIS solution provider that desires to have their own Professional Passport accreditation must undertake a full in-depth audit and thereafter yearly audits, to evaluate its compliance and whether or not it is worthy of an accreditation. Professional Passport has developed a set of compliance standards to assess and review providers of services to contractors, in the key high risk areas. Quite simply, only those who meet these high standards will be accredited.
The founders of Professional Passport have been involved in the contractor market place for a number of years working closely with agencies, end clients, HMRC, UKBA and BIS. During this time they have seen a period of unprecedented change in both legislation and working practices. Professional Passport explain that, ‘These, together with the introduction of the MSC legislation, have now become so complex that compliance is becoming a major issue for all the component elements of the marketplace’. They have a number of areas in which they focus on strongly during their audits;
- Working arrangements
- Identity validation and protecting against ID theft
- Right-to-work checks and the prevention of illegal working
- Provider compliance
- Agency regulations
- Prevention of business fraud
- Reasonable care penalties
- MSC legislation and debt transfer
Compliance: More important than ever
Umbrella Company compliance is essential in today’s market. Given the current events within the contracting world regarding IR35, the rise of dodgy loan schemes and the criminal finance act, it is becoming increasingly difficult for contractors and agencies to choose the right umbrella company partner. We understand contractors and agencies alike are right to be highly cautious when choosing a payroll provider. Especially given the massive damage unscrupulous providers have done over recent years. This is where our Professional Passport accreditation provides a clear, independent and unquestionable statement of compliance which provides the reassurances all parties require. We are compliant and we now have the accreditation to prove it.