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.
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.