Workr Group: A Year In Review

When we look back a couple of years, it was IR35 that we thought would reshape the future of businesses in our sector. But with a global pandemic and a world that has come to terms with hybrid working, companies have had to jump through a lot more hoops to make it out the other side.

For The Workr Group, this meant expanding the support we offer, partnering with industry leaders and making new hires to take our organisation to the next level. By many measures, this has made 2021 one of our biggest and most significant years yet.

We’ve asked Group CEO Matt Tyson to walk us through the year and highlight some of his stand-out moments.

1. Starting the year in lockdown

The new year arrived. We were all fired up and the team was ready to make a difference. Then, just a day later, we were back at home. Not an ideal start to 2021, especially as the Brexit transition period had just ended, and businesses were yet to realise the impact this would have on labour supply later in the year – perhaps most publicly seen in a shortage of drivers. 

But, as they do, our amazing staff took it in their stride, allowing us to hit the ground running and set the wheels in motion for the significant partnerships and key hires we’d make just a few months later. 

2. Preparing private clients for IR35 reform

Because IR35 was delayed to 2021, it wasn’t surprising that some businesses left it a little close to the deadline to get their affairs in order. This meant we spent the first few months of the year educating clients, bringing them up to speed with what the legislation meant for them.

Thankfully, we have Workr Compliance, headed up by Andy Webster. By helping clients to navigate the pitfalls of IR35, Andy and his team have grown Compliance into a genuine competitor to the more established players in this field. 

A global leading integrated financial services provider is the latest well-known client to engage Workr Compliance for support with their IR35 requirements. That is a tremendous win and proves the reputation Workr Group now has within the market.

3. Being acquired by JSA

Towards the end of April, we finalised talks to join forces with JSA. As part of the JSA Group, we’re now part of the biggest payroll group in the UK, presenting an enormous opportunity for our staff and clients.

Given that JSA didn’t have comparable business units to Workr Solutions and EasyPay, we’ve seen significant resources added to these parts of Workr already. Yves Bizimana and his growing team have been busy boosting our profile and generating revenue.

4. Helping businesses navigate Brexit shortages

It was bound to bite sometime, and in July, it did. Hospitality, construction and other sectors really started to feel the effects of the lack of new EU workers – which were laid on top of workers self-isolating and/or on furlough. 

Many of our agencies looked to us for guidance during this tricky period. One example of how we were able to assist was to help them articulate the value of our umbrella offering to potential candidates. In highlighting the many benefits of working through Workr Umbrella, our agency partners were able to better attract and retain workers. 

5. Conquering the Crystal Maze

In September, we held our long-overdue summer party, marking the start of our organisations coming together. Putting our collaboration to the test, we set about tackling the classic game show’s challenges.

This really was a great moment for me personally. Seeing the teams working together and indeed meeting face to face for the first time in 18 months was fantastic. 

6. Appointing Charles Daw to Head of International

Lastly, as if the year hadn’t been busy enough, we took on Charles Daw. With experience in everything from umbrella to international, Charles initially joined EasyPay to bring a new perspective to the business.

After a recent strategic Review of the Group, it was decided that Charles’ talents best lay in the international arena. With him spearheading the team, we expect to see incredible things, not least because the sector is constantly changing

Looking forward

Internally and externally, we’re now part of the biggest group in the UK providing services of this nature – and we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of collaboration. The summer party was just the beginning. Next, we’ll have company-wide conferences, team days and work dos.

Whatever’s around the corner, the future looks bright as we continue to innovate, collaborate, grow as individuals and strengthen our network. As long as we keep looking for the challenges, putting clients in the centre and embracing trends, the only way is up.

If you’re interested in any of the services we mentioned above, or want to know more about how we can help you, fill in our contact form. A member of the team will be in touch.

Introducing Our New Senior Business Development Manager Matt Watts

Our approach to agency management is second to none. But to continue setting the pace when it comes to service delivery, we needed an experienced hire ready to handle any queries that came in.

That role was filled recently by Matt Watts, our new senior BDM. With Matt’s experience, we plan on levelling up our internal account management teams and more accurately showing agencies where they stand when it comes to IR35.

We believe this is going to make a huge difference to our network. Don’t just take our word for it though – we’ve asked Matt to describe his career so far and how he’ll apply his expertise to the Workr model.

How did you get involved in the payroll/finance sector?

I was working as a telesales rep for a business that unfortunately went into administration.  Luckily, I secured a role at an umbrella company that shared the same business park, and I fell into the industry that way.

Initially, I worked in the new business team. This helped lay a good foundation for my career as I would take on registrations, develop candidate relationships, and improve their experience of our service. I then moved towards account management, and then eventually to business development.

My next step would take me to another umbrella firm to head up their business development across Birmingham and the North of England. It was here that I started becoming more passionate about encouraging all members of an agency to engage with its services, not just consultants but senior managers and owners too.

How did you hear about Workr?

Workr reached out and we discussed my possible move for about six months. I admired their collaborative approach with agencies and how they were a one-stop shop for clients. In my view, this would allow us to make relationships that were more long-standing and mutually beneficial.

In this industry, some firms can be accused of simply buttering up consultants in order to chase for business or referrals. This results in a one-dimensional service that’s designed to only last in the short term. At Workr, I’m helping with everything from timesheet collection, back-office support, and compliance support for our agency partners and end clients. It’s a much more comprehensive, holistic approach.

Thanks to the collaborative nature of Workr, we can make sure that agencies take everything on board and make informed decisions. Specifically, we make certain that senior management makes their consultants aware of changing legislation and the importance of ensuring that their contractors feel valued, particularly when change is ahead. This takes trust, which is why Workr acts as an extension of every agency it works with.

“It’s rare to come across talented people, who are obviously succeeding but looking at making the next step in their career. With Matt it was apparent from the first time of meeting him that he has the drive and ambition that matches ours, and shares the same values in ensuring our agency partners receive a first class experience and long lasting relationship.”

Mike Lee, Group Sales Director, Workr Group

How will your expertise help Workr make a difference?

Workr invest time in their customer journey. And with my experience, I hope to further improve it so that agencies can grow more organically and without worry of legislation changes.

In addition, I expect I can leverage my account management background to boost the abilities of Workr’s internal sales team. How I approach new businesses and existing clients has led me to this position, and I intend to teach these methods to others to accelerate Workr’s growth.

As a result, I hope we can continue to stand at the forefront of the umbrella industry and improve staffing solutions for all parties.

How Workr can help you

If you’d be interested in learning how our umbrella service works, get in touch today or contact Matt directly:

Matt Watts
07907 786 655

We’re always open to talk about recruitment solutions, and with our latest hire, we’re even more prepared to protect you from common compliance pitfalls.

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Introducing our new Director of Operations at Workr Solutions and Easypay

Workr is growing. So much so, in fact, that we’ve recently hired for some key roles to strengthen our infrastructure and help deliver a real impact to our industry.

One of these hires is Charlotte Allen, our new Director of Operations at Workr Solutions and Easypay, and the individual who will help streamline our processes and improve our service delivery through technology.

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked Charlotte to describe her experience and how it will help the Workr network… 

How did you get into recruitment?

My journey into recruitment started at nGAGE in 2013. Initially I was a junior credit controller, getting to terms with the finance side of recruitment. I worked my way into management and became more involved in billing cycles until eventually I was overseeing the entire credit control team.

As the business grew, I was promoted to Director of Operations. Naturally this meant I played a larger role in terms of managing credit risk and improving service delivery to both agencies and clients.

This experience was essential as it meant I interacted more with the internal sales side and started implementing the new systems that would be crucial to our development. Of course, having spent the better half of my recruitment career at nGAGE, I wanted to take these insights and apply them at another organisation.

When did Workr come in?

I had previously worked with Yves Bizimana, the Managing Director of Easypay and Workr Solutions, so I reached out to him while I was reviewing my options. As luck would have it, Yves was in the market looking for a Director of Operations as both businesses were expanding.

As soon as he described the role, I knew it was for me. Having now met the team and introduced myself to a number of clients, I’ve started implementing methods picked up from my previous roles, and I look forward to seeing the difference they make.

While the title remains the same, the scale of the work is much bigger. Up until this point, Workr and Easypay have been siloed, working independently of each other when they could be doing so much more together. My goal is to unify these arms of the Workr Group and address any pain points within the customer journey.

To provide an excellent service and implement the latest technology, you need to be the very best. That’s why it gives me great pleasure to add Charlotte to our group. I’ve seen first-hand the difference she makes to service delivery and team productivity. Our clients benefit greatly from this hire, and I have no doubt she’ll fit in seamlessly with our teams in the UK and India.

Yves Bizimana, Managing Director of Easypay and Workr Solutions

How will your expertise help Workr make a difference?

Leveraging my knowledge of outsourcing, service delivery and automation software, I intend to alleviate administrative burdens from Workr stakeholders and lead on project management.

Acting as an additional level of support, I want to improve efficiency so that we’re able to better allocate resources as an organisation and improve client satisfaction. Specifically, this means getting all members of the team singing from the same hymn sheet and minimising duplication.

As Easypay merges into Workr, I intend to better synchronise their individual services and further boost performance for both teams. What’s more, I look forward to how this integration will benefit the customers and agencies we work with.

How Workr can help you

If you’d be interested in how either Workr or Easypay could simplify the way you work, get in touch today. We’re always open to talk about recruitment solutions, and with our latest hire, we’re even more prepared to tailor our services towards your needs.

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Euro 2021 Workr Fantasy Football League

The Premier League season is finally over, and whether you came out laughing or crying, this summer brings something all football fans can smile about… THE EUROS!

Even if you’re not a footy fanatic, national competitions are great fun. Everyone can get behind the team as the country unites in the summer sunshine – and if the last week is anything to go by, it’s going to be a scorcher! 

To add an extra competitive edge, we’re running a Workr Fantasy Football League, just for recruiters. Read on to find out how to get involved, and more importantly, what you could win…

The tournament itself

Euro 2020 kicks off at 8pm on 11th June and will last for four weeks. And for anyone who spotted it, we didn’t get the year wrong! It’s actually last year’s postponed tournament, so the hype has really been building for this one.

For the first time in its history, the tournament will be hosted collectively across 11 European cities. 24 nations will compete in six groups, where 16 teams will progress into a knockout format. It all leads up to the final, which will be held at Wembley Stadium on 11th July. 

A fantasy football snapshot 

If you’re making your debut appearance on the fantasy field of play, the concept is pretty straightforward. Build a 15-player squad within a set budget of €100m, then select 11 starting players. The better they perform, the more points they get, and the higher you climb up the Workr league. Simple! 

It’s free to sign up, and in case you’re wondering, the budget isn’t real so there’s no need to call the bank. But just like actual football, you can make transfers each gameweek to try new angles, and swap out injured or non-competing players as the tournament progresses. Everything else you need to know is right here.

Workr Group’s league

So, you’ve already proved that you can discover the best candidates, but can you recruit a winning fantasy team? Unlike the game itself where there can only be one winner, the Workr league has three:

1st place: 2x tickets to a Premier League game in 2021/2022 
2nd place: £100 vouchers of your choice 
3rd place: A bottle of champagne

To get started, build your team and use the code: 6251FHMC02 to enter our league. And for those who didn’t know, there’s a bit of a trend among fantasy footballers to get creative with your team names. We’re talking about a pun, a play on words or clever humour. Our example sets the bar pretty low (‘No Kane, no gain’) – but you get the idea.   

On that note, it’s about time you got your Gareth Southgate on. Good luck!

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Workr Group joins JSA Group

JSA Group, provider of accountancy, payment and support services to the UK’s growing flexible workforce has acquired The Workr Group

The acquisition of The Workr Group strengthens JSA’s offering by enabling the provision of new technology, funding and consultancy services to the contingent workforce supply chain community, including back-office management solutions for recruitment agency partners. 

In addition, JSA will now be able to provide comprehensive compliance and payment solutions to international workers following Workr Group’s success in this arena, today managing over £100m of pay across 85 countries.

John Hoskin, CEO of JSA Group, said: “We were attracted to Workr primarily by the sheer quality of its people and breadth of services. It adds not only meaningful scale in our core outsourced employment, payment and accounting services but also significantly to the capabilities we can offer our customers and to the contingent workforce supply chain community,  from international payment solutions in a substantial range of territories to recruitment back-office outsourcing, compliance, funding, and technology.”

Matt Tyson, Managing Director of The Workr Group, said: “Over the last seven years, Workr has become synonymous with great customer service and innovation in the solutions we offer recruitment agents and the flexible workforce. Having spent a considerable amount of time speaking with JSA about their approach and the way they work, we are confident we have very strongly aligned values and that this transaction will be positive for our staff, clients, and contractors. The Board, all of whom are staying with the business, and the team at Workr, are tremendously excited about the prospect and potential of a collective offering with JSA.”

JSA, who have a 30-year track record, now support more than 1,000 recruitment businesses and 25,000+ freelancers and contractors. The transaction marks JSA’s eleventh acquisition since 2013 and its sixth since 2018 when the company was backed by Universal Partners. They are headquartered in Watford, UK, now with offices in London, Manchester, Leeds, Chester and Edinburgh as well as regional offices in the USA, UAE and India following the acquisition of The Workr Group.


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Workr Group Support Cash For Kids’ Mission Christmas

For the past two years, Workr Group have proudly supported Cash For Kids – a fundraising initiative set up by Manchester’s Hits Radio station. The charity raises money to help children and young people affected by poverty, abuse, neglect, life-limiting illness and those who have additional needs.

Workr have hosted activities, donation stations and much more in our time as a charity partner. So when lockdown and social distancing measures put a stop to plans, we knew that we needed to go above and beyond to help… 

A time in need…

Run by Jessica Rigby and Sophie Davies, Cash For Kids provide gifts and support through community organisations, social workers, schools and emergency services. When the pandemic struck, they were forced to cancel a number of events – set to raise £115,000. At a time when young children and their families needed more support than ever, the charity was forced to find an alternative to ensure they could continue to offer this lifeline. 

Jessica commented: “Hits Radio Cash for Kids is made up of just myself and Sophie. We’re both working from home and doing everything we can to ensure we not only help families right now who are struggling to feed their children, but also raise enough money to still be here after the pandemic and help the children who rely on our support for life.”

… made even harder

Of course, the pandemic isn’t the only challenge that the families supported by Cash For Kids are facing. A luxury that some just can’t afford, Christmas can be a tricky time. Christmas 2020 is likely to bring with it a number of additional challenges, as COVID-19 has directly affected UK unemployment levels and household incomes. 

Hits Radio’s Cash For Kids want to make Christmas Day different for children and young people living in poverty across Greater Manchester. By collecting and distributing gifts and cash donations, Mission Christmas can make sure that disadvantaged children have a gift to open on Christmas morning. Having done so much for the local community, and now needing our support, we knew we had to do our bit… 

Our work as a charity partner 

Over the past two years, Workr have opened up a donation station in central Manchester for gifts to be dropped off in December. Further fundraising events over the years have included Football Friday in July 2018, volunteering at a warehouse picking and packing christmas orders and an auction – where a signed picture of David Beckham raised £80!

Like Cash For Kids, we had big fundraising plans for 2020 but world events got in the way. While we hope to volunteer and open our donation station once more, this could be restricted. So to make up for it, we’ve decided to give our biggest donation yet – £2,056.37. 

Jessica Rigby commented: “We honestly can’t thank you enough for everything Workr does to support us, it honestly means so much. Especially this year with us having to cancel so much of our planned fundraising activity. This donation will make a HUGE difference to our Mission Christmas appeal.”

If you’d like to donate to the charity, you can do so directly on the website. For families and young children struggling during these times, it really does help. 

COVID-19 Contractor and Freelancer Survey Update

Workr Group CEO, Matt Tyson – COVID-19 Contractor and Freelancer Survey Update

Workr during Coronavirus

  • Workr have been there for our customers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic paying out more than £1.2 million in salary’s since the scheme began offering protection to over 500 of our loyal contractors
  • Despite working from home and with a significantly reduced workforce we have maintained payment for over 3000 of our contractors
  • As the number one contractor solution of choice we boast the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry highlighted by our Trust Pilot Score of 4.8/5
  • Our umbrella clients continue to benefit from our cash health plan, health and wellbeing services, discounts, rewards on our dedicated Covid-19 online portal
  • We have continued to highlight the great work our contractors, partners and consultants do with our 20 acts of kindness

Refer-a-friend to Workr here!

The Results of our COVID-19 Contractor and Freelancer Survey

From hours being reduced to projects being cancelled, contractors and freelancers across the board have suffered due to uncertainty in 2020. And, even as lockdown begins to ease, many self-employed individuals are still facing financial hardship.

We decided to take stock of the thoughts and feelings of contractors and freelancers in our community to better understand what they’re going through and provide agencies with some relevant insight. Surveying almost 400 individuals from our database, below represents their circumstances and the effect that COVID-19 has had.

The impact of lockdown on contractors and freelancers

Almost immediately, lockdown had an impact on the availability of work. Of those we surveyed, 77% saw their industry take a hit.

Not only are self-employed individuals harder to identify – it’s also harder to quantify their earnings.

Support came eventually in the form of a grant that would pay 80% of typical earnings up to a cap of £2,500 a month. However, 56% of survey respondents believe the government could have done more. A further 28% felt the government had offered them nothing whatsoever.

When asked about their finances, approximately 40% said that while they were managing, they had serious concerns for the future. Worse still, 24% said they were really struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic.

How the contractor workforce adapted

Of course, a large number of contractors weren’t immediately laid off. In fact, 45% of those we spoke to were working from home. However, for 40% some or all of their contracts had been cancelled.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that 60% of those surveyed have found it more difficult to adjust than they had initially expected.

With that being said though, a combined 39% found the situation either easier than expected – or the same. While many believe there has been a lack of support, our data indicates that clients and contractors have somewhat pulled through.

On top of this, when asked whether or not they think their clients will explore more flexible working arrangements once lockdown is over, 50% said yes – with an additional 33% thinking it was possible.

What the future holds

With a large number of contractors revealing that the current lockdown and economic pressures haven’t harmed them too severely, it’s our opinion that there is cause to be optimistic about the future of contracting.

Yes, 40% of those surveyed believe that they are less likely to find work after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a combined 57% believe that there will be the same opportunities – if not more.

In fact, of those who had a contract cancelled, over 83% are planning on getting straight back into contracting as soon as they are able to – still preferring it to regular employment.

The consensus of when that would be, or at least when lockdown would end, had the majority (37%) believing that it would be within 60 days. And with additional support being offered to the self-employed, we don’t think it will be long until business as usual.

How Workr can help

While we understand the pressure that contractors and self-employed people are currently facing, we believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. From the research we’ve undertaken, evidence suggests the drive for contract work will be even higher than before.

So, to help you seize the opportunities that drive will bring, Workr Group have a range of services to strengthen your agency.  From award-winning umbrella solutions to IR35 support, we can help put your organisation back on the right path while making you the first choice for contractors and freelancers around the country.

Sound good? Get in touch on 0208 10 60 000 or email