IR35 compliance – IR35 in 2022

It’s fair to say that the lead-up to introducing the Off-payroll reforms to the private sector was anything but smooth.

When the Off-payroll reforms were introduced into the private sector in April 2021, two full years had passed since the government confirmed its intentions to introduce the reforms. The private sector had also benefited from witnessing the introduction of the reforms into the public sector back in 2017.

The pandemic forced many businesses into emergency or survival mode. Even though the government deferred the introduction of the reforms for twelve months, engagers could be forgiven for not being entirely focused on IR35.

Under normal circumstances, most people would argue that four years (2017 – 2021) is ample time to prepare for any form of change.

However, these were not normal circumstances, and IR35 has wallowed in ambiguity and controversy since its original introduction many years ago. Preparation, therefore, was unlikely to be straightforward.

Public sector investigations set the tone

In our previous article – 2021, A year of reform, we reviewed our experiences and findings following the introduction of the reforms to the private sector.

The findings were mixed, with some engagers exceptionally well prepared and others completely oblivious.

Irrespective of our findings, the one thing that has become clear since the introduction is HMRC’s commitment to the off-payroll reforms.

Even though the reforms were introduced to the public sector back in 2017, there were very few cases to base judgment or opinion on what HMRC would classify as good, bad, right or wrong.

Again, another reason for engagers to be confused or cautious about what actions to take. 

However, following the introduction of the reforms to the private sector, whether by strategy or coincidence, HMRC began to publish the results of investigations into some high profile public sector bodies.

The results were difficult to ignore.

The DWP, Home Office and the Ministry of Justice were all found wanting following IR35 investigations with eye-watering tax bills of £87.9M, £33.5M and £72M, respectively.

HMRC have subsequently followed that up with the results of an investigation into Defra, the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities. 

The result of Defra incorrectly determining contractors as outside IR35 in the eyes of HMRC was another hefty tax bill. This time a whopping £48M.

What does 2022 hold for IR35 in the private sector?

If these public sector examples are anything to go by, private sector businesses need to heed these ominous warnings.

Even though the government confirmed a soft introduction, promising no fines or penalties on genuine errors for the first twelve months of the legislation, this period is now almost over.

Having already gone through the IR35 investigation process with public sector organisations, HMRC is guaranteed to use the lessons learned when turning its attention to the private sector.

Initial requests for information and interviews with private sector businesses have demonstrated HMRC’s keen interest in the systems used to make status determinations, including the weighting of questions used to achieve a result. This is particularly interesting considering that the public sector organisations punished for making incorrect determinations all used the government’s own CEST status determination tool.

Additionally, HMRC questions have intimated that the scope of investigations may expand into the broader supply chain rather than focusing solely on status determinations.

Therefore, care and compliance must prevail in 2022 for private sector businesses to meet the demands of the off-payroll reforms.

If you have concerns about meeting the requirements of the off-payroll legislation or supply chain compliance, then Workr Compliance can help.

For a free, no-obligation audit and assessment of your IR35 compliance process, you can speak directly with Andy Webster, Founder and Director, Workr Compliance, on 07827 810851 or at aw@workrgroup.com.

IR35 compliance – 2021, a year of reform

In what has been a turbulent and unpredictable year, we can all be forgiven for moments of uncertainty.

However, when it came to the Off-payroll reforms, finally introduced into the private sector in April, there was an unerring certainty about HMRC’s actions.

Amid calls for a further deferral or even a complete u-turn and retraction of the reforms, HMRC remained steadfast in its determination to push through the legislation, albeit with a soft introduction.

The overall consensus was that engagers, contractors, agencies and all of those businesses within the temporary labour supply chain had received the benefit of an extra twelve months to prepare for the changes.

Although some would reasonably argue that the pandemic had distracted preparations and taken priority, the calls fell on deaf ears, and the legislation came into effect on the 6th of April.

So what have we learned?

What have we learned?

In the nine months since the introduction of the reforms, we’ve heard many stories, thoughts and ideas around how best to respond to the IR35 legislation changes. In many cases, engagers have taken an ultra-cautious approach with their new responsibilities and liability.

Umbrella companies have stepped up their pitch to promote their offering as an IR35-free solution, and contractors have had to make career and lifestyle choices that were often unwelcome or unwanted.

These reactions were not entirely unexpected, but perhaps the biggest surprise has been the number of stories and examples of businesses that remain unprepared or uncertain about the legislation.

The government confirmed a soft introduction, promising no fines or penalties on genuine errors for the first twelve months of the legislation, perhaps giving engagers a sense of security and a safety net from which to preach ignorance.

However, the critical point of the soft landing is the reference to genuine errors. Given HMRC’s guidance notes on responsibility and reasonable care, genuine errors appear quite a narrow channel that leaves a lot of other areas open to challenge.

Engagers who have made blanket statements or outsourced determination processes to avoid IR35 liability should seriously reconsider their actions to ensure they have genuinely mitigated any risk.

The soft landing is unlikely to stretch as far as protecting against complacency or ignorance.

Furthermore, we have learned more recently of HMRC’s post-reform requests for information. While the requests initially focused on determination processes, compliance and contractor numbers, subsequent interviews have led us to believe that examining the broader supply chain is highly likely.

This would likely include agencies and umbrella companies, meaning that engagers could be held responsible or deemed complicit if tax avoidance schemes are unearthed within the supply chain.

With a plethora of other tax legislation at its disposal, the Off-payroll legislation could just be a Trojan horse that HMRC will use to assess the broader temporary labour supply chain. This is particularly relevant to engagers that have forced contractors down the umbrella route.

What next? IR35 in 2022 and beyond

Compliance and care must be the keywords for engagers as we approach 2022 and beyond.

Based on the direction of HMRC’s post-reform investigations, we strongly recommend that supply chain management and due diligence become an integrated part of engagers BAU for 2022 thereon.

Given the economic impact of the pandemic over the last two years, tax avoidance is undoubtedly going to be high on the government’s agenda.

Moving contractors to umbrella models purely to avoid the Off-payroll legislation may, in hindsight, appear to be a jump from the frying pan straight into the fire.

If you have concerns about meeting the requirements of the off-payroll legislation or supply chain compliance, then Workr Compliance can help.


For another angle on our sector in 2021, we asked Group CEO Matt Tyson to walk us through the year and highlight some of his stand-out moments, you can read that here.

For a free, no-obligation audit and assessment of your IR35 compliance process, you can speak directly with Andy Webster, Founder and Director, Workr Compliance, on 07827 810851 or at aw@workrgroup.com.

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.

IR35 compliance – Is supply chain compliance next on HMRC’s hit-list?

Following Workr’s recent articles about HMRC’s post-reform activities, it’s been interesting to observe that much of the information requested in HMRC letters and interviews has centred around those involved in the supply chain.

In particular, HMRC appears to be focusing much of its attention on the recruitment suppliers used to source contractors and the umbrella companies used to engage them. 

Having kept a close eye on recent proceedings and spoken with businesses that have already conducted post-reform meetings and interviews with HMRC, it’s fair to say that HMRC’s questioning has been more extensive than expected.

The consensus following these meetings (some businesses have already had more than one) is that HMRC is looking well beyond the scope of the Off-payroll reforms in its investigations.

HMRC appears to be looking at the whole supply chain if its questioning and investigations are anything to go by. Requests for records of recruitment suppliers and umbrella companies have not been uncommon.

These requests lead me to believe that HMRC is looking to assess the bigger picture rather than focussing purely on the status determination process.

Are engagers responsible for their supply chain?

In the context of the Off-payroll reforms, there are two main changes in responsibility for engagers:

  1. Conducting and communicating the status determination for each contract assignment.
  2. Meeting Reasonable Care tests, as defined by HMRC. 

Upon completion and confirmation of the status determination, the responsibility for the payment of taxes etc., falls to the payee, which in most cases is the recruitment agency or umbrella company, depending on the status result.

The legislation contains little reference to the supply chain or responsibility for its management.

Why, then, is HMRC following this route of questioning?

If the early market indicators are correct and many PSC contractors have transferred to umbrella models or employment contracts, it would make sense to me that HMRC prioritises following that money trail over anything else. This is, after all, where HMRC is likely to generate its quickest wins and the majority of its revenue.

However, HMRC has a plethora of tax evasion legislation that it can use for enforcement purposes. I, therefore, believe that there is a real risk of engagers being held responsible or deemed complicit for the actions of those within its supply chain should future HMRC investigations unearth problems.

What are the risks of not managing your supply chain?

Based on the direction of HMRC’s initial post-reform investigations, it appears that supply chain management and due diligence could well be defined as being a part of the engagers reasonable care and compliance responsibilities.

In its reasonable care guidance notes, HMRC advised engagers to seek the advice and support of qualified and professional advisors, but this was as far as the advice went. Therefore, the  Off-payroll legislation contained little for engagers to fear in relation to its supply chain management.

However, given the focus that HMRC has put on the supply chain during its recent investigations, my advice to engagers is to beware.

The Criminal Finances Act is an alternative piece of legislation that HMRC has used previously and could use again in its fight against tax avoidance. There have been several cases of umbrella providers being found guilty of peddling illegal tax avoidance schemes in recent times.

Engagers found to have such umbrella companies in their supply chain could well find themselves under investigation for being complicit in promoting such schemes.

Therefore, the need for supply chain management and due diligence is essential to prove reasonable care and will go a long way to reducing any risk of complicity.

If you have concerns about meeting the requirements of the off-payroll legislation or supply chain compliance, then Workr Compliance can help.For a free, no-obligation audit and assessment of your IR35 compliance process, you can speak directly with Andy Webster, Founder and Director, Workr Compliance, on 07827 810851 or at aw@workrgroup.com.

December Office Hours 2021

We’ll be available throughout the December period but please check the following holiday hours which apply to Workr Accounting, Workr International, and Workr Umbrella:

Workr Accounting & Workr UmbrellaWorkr International
Thursday 23rd December09:00 to 17:3009:00 to 17:30
Friday 24th December09:00 to 15:0009:00 to 15:00
Monday 27th DecemberClosed Closed
Tuesday 28th DecemberClosed Closed
Wednesday 29th December09:00 to 17:3009.00-12.30
Thursday 30th December09:00 to 17:3009.00-12.30
Friday 31st December09:00 to 15:0009.00-12.30
Monday 3rd JanuaryClosed Closed
Tuesday 4th JanuaryNormal hours resume (9:00 to 17:30) Normal hours resume (9:00 to 17:30)

All the very best in this festive season and in the year ahead.

The reality of navigating compliance in another country

It’s easy to see why so many contractors end up seeking opportunities abroad. With a broader range of job roles (and salaries), we’ve seen a steady rise in talent emigrating across the globe for the last 20 years. 

But adjusting to the various tax rules and regulations of a new country is far from easy. That’s where organisations like Workr come in, helping all parties involved in international recruitment stay compliant and protect their take-home pay.

To explain this in more detail, we recently sat down with the new Managing Director of Workr International, Charles Daw. Here, he discusses his role and how his team helps support those looking for opportunities further afield.

Early days of international recruitment

I started working in the contractor management industry at a UK umbrella company. After a couple of years, an opportunity arose to join a company that focused on international contractors. I found it to be a far less transactional, more consultative and value-adding relationship with the recruitment industry. It turned out to be a great time to jump into the market.

I grew the business with agencies who were developing their international presence. Only a small number of organisations were able to offer the support that was needed at the time, and I was able to develop some great relationships. I moved from a junior sales role to become a manager, and then eventually to take up a more senior position.

Feeling like I wanted a new direction, I joined Easypay, a subsidiary of the Workr Group. Here, I was helping find funding for agencies – effectively selling a different product to the same market that I was used to. Workr Group then joined JSA Group, and with that came a greater focus on the international market. My experience made me a perfect fit for this division, and I became the Managing Director.

Simplifying international solutions

If you’re an agency based in the UK, and your end-client is based in the UK, you’d still have to consider the fact that the work might be taking place elsewhere. If it is, then the tax legislation and other legal requirements need to be applied.

For example, in Germany they have the AUG licence, which is effectively a labour leasing licence. So, if you want to lease out a contractor worker to an end client in Germany, you’ll need it. You’ll also need to consider that you can only have a maximum of three parties in the working relationship. Get that wrong and you could fall foul of German tax law.

It’s our job to know this legislation inside and out and keep all parties compliant. What’s more, we have to impart this knowledge to those we work with – at all levels. Whether we’re speaking to your CEOs or your junior agents, we explain the nuances of each country and help to avoid ending up in a non-compliant situation.

Managing relationships

To provide the support that international recruitment agencies need, there’s a lot that goes into being able to ensure a contractor or agency acts within the law. In order to stay compliant across the 90 countries we operate in, we have to work with a network of partners.

We have a strong partner network as well as our own in-house solutions. My role will be spent strengthening the partner relationships as well as increasing the size of our in-house services.

This is where we stand out from the competition: we accept our limitations and prioritise investment into finding like-minded organisations around the world. Not only does this allow us to scale faster, but it also ensures our clients get the best support available.

Taking the industry forward

As part of our responsibility to offer clients the best support available, we need to be able to forecast big changes in the industry. And one thing we see changing is a growing preference for employed solutions.

As recently as two years ago, the long-standing preference across Europe was self-employment. Today though, with increased scrutiny in almost every country, companies and contractors are far more concerned about taxation and their compliance.

It’s no surprise as we see this happening in the UK with the IR35 reform. Other countries like Germany addressed this a few years ago with new legislation, but around the EU, it has caught some businesses off guard. It’s for reasons like this that there’s been a rise in the need for compliance organisations such as ourselves and the level of our involvement in placing contractors internationally.

Seeking international tax advice and fully compliant payroll solutions?

If you’re interested in placing contractors across the globe, or could just use a little guidance on where you stand currently, we’re here to help


Just leave your details on our contact form, and a member of the team will be in touch.

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Workr Group appoints Charles Daw as Managing Director of Workr International

Workr Group recognised that international contractor management is one of the biggest markets in the sector today. So, to gear their subsidiary up for significant investment in the space, they’ve enlisted industry veteran Charles Daw to lead the way.

As more and more contractors choose to operate across the world, the international market continues to grow. But to avoid falling foul of foreign tax law, they need to be compliant in the countries where the work takes place.

With IR35 reform still in the rear-view mirror, agencies and end clients are hesitant to go into such placements blind. Instead, they value a solution that allows them to continue working with contractors, while improving their in-house knowledge of certain tax law.

Mike Lee, Sales Director at Workr Group, commented: ‘With a rich history of keeping contractors compliant while working abroad, Charles will be an excellent addition to Workr International and will take the business forward. Whether that’s by meeting the demand for more employed solutions, or raising greater awareness of the challenges agencies face in this space.’

Charles added: ‘I am looking forward to collaborating with agencies at all levels (CEO, managers, agents) and connecting with the wider Workr teams to improve our collective understanding of the legislation in the 90+ countries that Workr operate in.’

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A Workr Solutions case study: Staffing 360 Solutions

Staffing 360 Solutions is a global staffing and recruitment firm, with headquarters rising high in the heart of Manhattan, New York. Three US and three UK brands operate from this hub, championing growth through their acquisition and staffing sector expertise. 

A strong back office is the crucial spine that supports the successful integration of each acquired brand. Recognising the importance of an efficient and flexible pay and bill process, Staffing 360 Solutions invested in leading pay and bill software for their UK agencies. 

Of course, implementing new software in one business is hard enough. It didn’t take long for Staffing 360 Solutions to realise the scale of the challenge in making this work for three unique agencies… 

Stuck between software

A flawless pay and bill process is a fundamental requirement to Staffing 360 Solutions. It underpins their key back office basic function: paying candidates and invoicing clients accurately and on time. The Pay and Bill function feeds into all other processes and is fundamental to accurate reporting of financials in the UK and to the parent company in the US.
 

The many different clients, brands, countries and types of employment involved here naturally requires highly flexible software that’s working at full capacity. But after choosing a cloud-based platform to carry their UK presence forward, the company realised that it did not have sufficient internal resources to execute the change. In order to transition successfully the company needed to execute a system implementation project and train internal staff on this new system, all while simultaneously running flawless pay and bill operations and related reporting.

The project was started with internal staff, but it soon became too much to handle due to competing priorities and a lack of expertise to see it through. The three UK brands had been partly migrated but then multiple arising challenges left the company desiring external help in order to complete the project. At this point Staffing 360 reached out to Workr Solutions for support.

360-degree implementation

Our team wasted no time in getting to grips with Staffing 360 Solutions’ many complexities, particularly the multiple pay and bill methods used and challenges that international pay and bill presents. We had to ensure that both weekly and monthly pay and bill works smoothly and month end reporting of NFI is done without re-work and delay. With so many variables at play, flexibility was crucial for their internal staff and clients.  

After grasping the inner workings of their business, we got to work across all three UK brands. We completed the full system implementation, putting a welcome end to the software mismatch they had in place prior to the project. This included working closely with the payroll professionals who had grown used to the old systems. Our team helped them to configure the new software, training staff to carry out their roles and sorting out any new system requirements arising after Go Live.

Naturally, each of Staffing 360 Solutions’ brands has its own specific needs. So, we ensured the software was tailored to each area, securing harmonious functions across the board.  Where needed, we also stepped in to support vacant roles within the back office (e.g. in accounting) while the business sourced the right talent without concern that there will be business interruption due to a lack of resource or required knowledge.

Present- and future-focused

Workr Solutions not only unlocked the great potential of the software platform for Staffing 360 Solutions, but we fixed real-time system and workflow issues too whilst giving them a dependable experienced resource as it built up their team over eight months. This has provided a welcome safety net for the group, while enabling them to roll out the now fully functioning software across other agencies as and when necessary. 

What’s more, hiring full-time payroll administrators or accountants in a hurry to fill personnel gaps would have proved costly if they didn’t work out. By gaining a deep knowledge of their company and a clear vision of their requirements for success, our team was able to plug the gap without breaking the bank. Lending our dedicated account experts is part of what we do for our clients, and this service will continue to be available for Staffing 360 Solutions as it grows it’s presence in the UK and elsewhere.


“If the software company, who are the owners of the software, are saying [Workr are] the firm to talk to when working with the software, it gives you some confidence.” – Geneva Locke, Senior Vice President – Corporate Controller (US & UK) at Staffing 360 Solutions

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Still finding outside IR35 roles? Then advising your contractors to switch Accountants to Workr could be a wise move!

Since IR35 was enforced in the private sector, we’ve seen a considerable number of contractors switch to Workr from their current accounting and business support provider. As experts in IR35, it’s perhaps no surprise. So to help them make the move, we’ve decided to offer a ‘switcher package’. 

This package has been specifically designed for those contractors who haven’t yet ‘gone digital’, or are simply looking to upgrade their level of accounting support. Here, Workr’s Head of Sales in London, Adam Mommsen, explains the benefits.

Easy migration

The meticulous nature of our service starts at the very beginning. We’ll help contractors transition from their current accountant, bring them up to speed on the latest tax law, and then move them seamlessly over to our team. 

And this is a team who have been with us for well over five years. They’re efficient in their responses, experienced in all things accounting, and genuinely care about the contractor’s business.

Complimentary IR35 assessment

As for what’s included in our switcher package? Well, for those lucky enough to have found outside IR35 roles, and found clients that wish to engage properly – jackpot! But we know that contractors have a number of different roles and assignments, and they still look to Workr for our expertise in determining their IR35 status. 

Thanks to our very own Workr Compliance consultancy arm, which has successfully carried out over 4,000 assessments and counting, we can offer each contractor a free IR35 assessment when they make the switch. ‘Reasonable care’ is one of HMRC’s key measures, after all, so it’s best practice to assess statuses on a regular basis.

First two months free*

We’re offering every contractor their first two months’ accountancy fees for free when they move over to us. This should help smooth the transition of their limited company to our solution (and they say you get nothing for free these days!).

Of course, that means they get a whole two months, on us, to benefit from our accounting and personal tax services. These include:

  • Easy-to-use online portal
  • Payroll, NI, annual return and VAT support
  • Tax planning and IR35 advice
  • Dedicated, specialised accountant

Bespoke tax support

I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has said to me “I can never usually get a hold of my accountants on the phone”. That’s why we pride ourselves on the fact that someone can ring us anytime. And as soon as it is safe to do so, we encourage contractors to take full advantage of our open-door policy. 

Whether it’s given in person or over the phone, we always ensure that our advice is tailored to the circumstances of the client. Aside from our live accounting, we also help contractors understand their accounts with regular, timely updates. They’ll be able to download the FreeAgent app too, which integrates seamlessly with our service, to plan their tax on the go.

Speak to Workr today

If you have contractors that are unhappy with their accountant, why wait to recommend that they switch? If they aren’t happy now, during one of the toughest times in contracting history, it’s unlikely they’ll be more satisfied as we enter a new period of growth.

By contacting Workr today, they can start their transition to a more tailored financial service. And with the first two months being entirely free of charge, this comes at no cost to anyone.

All you need to do is email mentoring@workrgroup.com with their details, and a member of the team will be in touch. Alternatively, you can contact your Workr BDM directly.

*This offer is only applicable for companies with suitable or up-to-date accounts as determined by Workr

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Connecting Our Excellence: How Workr Prioritise Team Wellbeing

Workr Group’s approach has always been engaging with clients at all levels. Whether that’s a director or junior member of staff, we make sure everybody understands changes in employment and how to minimise administrative burdens.

Without this uniform understanding, the support we offer can fail to make a lasting difference. But to offer such a comprehensive service, we need a workforce that operates in complete harmony while simultaneously being fully invested in the future of Workr. Here, Group Sales Director of Workr Group Mike Lee, explains how we make that possible.

Rallying the remote workforce

The wellbeing of our team has always been important to us. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, it brought mental and physical health into much greater focus. It also presented a challenge.

First, we had to overcome the stumbling block of synchronising a workforce that was largely working from home. To do this, we organised group activities and exercises so that everyone felt a part of the wider community at all times.

When it was decided by the group to re-enter the workforce, we brought all our internal experts together. Remote working technology taught us how to streamline certain tasks, but in order for us to help each other, agencies, contractors and clients, we still believe in the power of physical connections. It’s just the nature of our industry and something we take as seriously internally as we do externally. Connecting our excellence helps guide our attitudes, actions, decisions and relationships and is something that’s made easier when we’re all together.

A cause for celebration

Thanks to our eventual reintroduction, we were delighted to hold our inaugural Summer(ish) Social at the end of last month – the ‘ish’ being a point of contention as others in the office were convinced September didn’t still count as the summer!

Instead of our typical company conference, the social was designed to be a ‘thank you’ to the Workr Group family. We wanted to reward the mammoth efforts each and every person has put in over the last 18 months, especially when our way of life was turned on its head. We wanted it to be a celebration of reconnecting.

As well as a whole host of other activities, the main event was held at the notoriously challenging Crystal Maze where our teams took on the Crystal Dome competing for bragging rights.

Leading from the front

My fellow directors and I didn’t get away lightly either as we were all the subject of an interactive quiz. I think everyone got a little more than they bargained for by the end! Yet that was the point of the day: to acclimatise to that social interaction many of us missed.

The day was particularly significant for our colleagues at Easypay, a business that joined the Workr Group during the pandemic. It was the first time the majority of their Leeds-based business had met their Workr counterparts from the Manchester and London offices, and we were delighted to officially welcome them. 

We saw off the evening in Albert’s Schloss. Here we celebrated the fact that, despite the past 18 months, we had just delivered our most successful year.

A director’s takeaway

One thing I’ve picked up from the pandemic is the importance of not only being able to identify change but also being agile enough to adapt to it. This has been key to our continued success – a success that I believe we owe to having such a connected community – and why we continue to invest in physical events to bring them together. 

If the last 18 months have taught us anything it is that five-year plans are long gone. Having a better-connected team allows us to spread the responsibility for detecting, interpreting and translating patterns, then exploring the implications for our business so we are better prepared for whatever may be around the corner.

Mike Lee, Group Sales Director

If you’d like to see more news from us, please check out the blog section of our website for all updates and announcements.