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01. 06. 2017

IR35 in the Public Sector – still not understood (by the public sector)

IR35 in the Public Sector – still not understood (by the public sector) Many of you may have read a couple of recent articles I wrote titled ‘The (un)intended consequences of Off Payroll changes in the public sector!’ and ‘The Farce that is IR35’. Something I mentioned in these articles was the lack of clarity provided to the public sector by HMRC, with almost zero time for the entire industry to be ready, and thus blanket decisions being taken on contractor statuses. Many of our NHS trust clients pushed out communications something like this: We have already undertaken some work in this respect. Initial assessments of placements have indicated that they are all deemed to be caught under the new IR35 rules. We, therefore, consider the most prudent approach to take post April 2017 would be to treat all engagements/placements as falling within the scope of the new rules. This will significantly reduce the level of administration and communication between us. What I hadn’t mentioned was that most of these communications were based on direct advice from NHS Improvement, the body responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, telling the trusts to make these blanket decisions and deem ALL contractors inside the legislation. We then had to spend weeks and weeks working with our clients to unravel this misunderstanding and ensure that they took reasonable and proper care in making the decisions on status. Now after battling through the first couple of months of the wrong status, unfair and incorrect taxation, contract rate changes, contractors leaving roles, trusts losing critical contractors etc etc, NHS improvement has now released new advice, completely contradicting what they originally advised (I am pleased to say that this is a necessary and correct contradiction!). This just compounds the frustration felt regarding the handling and implementation of this entire fiasco, the lack of communication across government departments, HMRC, public sector bodies, and the entire contract community, and also highlights that fact that this legislation was clearly ill-conceived from the start and certainly should never have made it to statute. I just pray for those that benefit from the fact that the UK has a tremendous pot of skills in our flexible workforce, that some sense is seen before someone decides that this has worked and it’s time to push it through to the private sector. That will be an even greater disaster. Some simple guidance can be found here.
24. 02. 2017

Who's reading your CV?

A blank document in front of you and a CV to write – painful isn’t it? Firstly, recruiters, that’s people like me, will make a snap judgment based on what they see on a word document. Sad, but true Secondly, that CV needs to get past the recruitment team or HR, who, in large organisations, see hundreds of CVs every day and are usually tasked on ensuring every job spec criteria is matched before sending a CV to the hiring manager Thirdly, your CV goes to a hiring manager, and if you are lucky, to your hiring manager’s manager How to write a CV that goes the distance Read your CV back to yourself and be honest: does this reflect me, what I do, what I’m good at, and most importantly, your achievements. The paper round you had when you were 14 is unlikely to get you a CIO job, don’t include it. I am sure you will be proud of your very 1st job but is that job the job you want now? No? Then list it at the back without pages of detail. Make a profile. This is so important for so many reasons, but the main one is that your CV will be put in front of people who don’t know you. They might not phone you about a job as they may assume from something in your CV that you wouldn’t be interested. Tell people who you are, what you do and what you are looking for; nothing as basic as “works well in a team and individually”, but tell people why you are good. Name at the top with your phone number and email address, you would be surprised how many people don’t bother and that can make it incredibly hard to reach out to you. Your profile should come next Then straight into your career summary. Include dates, job title. No Gaps, if you went trekking across the Himalayas then say. In your job summary, list responsibilities and achievements separately and be concise. Repeat for every role that you feel is relevant to your current search. Once you get to a point where you don’t think the role is relevant, just list out in summary At the end, list the systems and software you use in detail. The thing to remember is that everyone has their own idea of how a CV should look and feel, so you won’t please everyone. But if you can make it as readable as possible then you stand a better chance. Your CV will be one of the most important documents you ever create, so spend time on it and get it right.
21. 11. 2016

What is self bill invoicing?

What is self bill invoicing? With many supply chains being driven by some very slick IT systems, there can still often be delays in payments (a rather key part of any business relationship) due to errors with invoicing. One of the simplest ways to avoid this issue is through self-billing. Simply put, self-billing allows the service/product recipient to raise the invoice on behalf of the provider, rather than the other way round. It is unlikely in this situation, therefore, that the party due to pay the invoice can moan about it being incorrect, as they will be the party who raised it! An example of where self-billing works perfectly is in the recruitment market, specifically, contract recruitment. If an online timesheet system is fully integrated with invoicing, and invoices are generated based on approved timesheets and pay rates contained within that system, then perfectly correct and timely invoices can be raised at the click of a button. There is nothing worse for a contractor than to find there is a delay in payment to them because their invoice does not tally with the timesheets that have been approved. Can one company raise invoices on behalf of another? Yes, as long as a self-billing agreement has been signed. This is a requirement of HMRC and is a very simple and straight forward document. GSA have self-bill agreements in place for over 99% of our contractors ensuring payroll is both accurate and prompt. For more information on self-billing, please visit the HMRC guide here, or GSA’s guide here
21. 11. 2016

Why is ICD important? (and, for non clinical coders, what's ICD?!)

Why is ICD so important? The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently shared a video explaining why ICD is so important. Interested? View their YouTube video here For all the non Clinical Coders out there – ICD stands for The International Classification of Diseases and is the international 'standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes'. ICD is made up of thousands of codes that are used around the world to classify diseases and conditions. This information can be used to generate statistics (for example, morbidity and mortality stats) and it can be used to monitor health and treatment trends across the globe. These codes are what our clinical coders use to classify what the problem is when you take a trip to the hospital. For a discussion on our latest clinical coding requirements, or the availability of clinical coders, please contact Tom Blakey Credit: World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/
07. 11. 2016

The All Important Interview.

The all important interview How many hours did you spend researching the last car or holiday you bought? How many hours did you spend preparing for your job interview? We all know that many jobs and perhaps careers are won or lost during the interview process. You have a great CV, the relevant experience and qualifications, and look the part so that's all great, however, if you do not prepare properly for the interview this will put you at a competitive disadvantage. So why not prepare? To secure the job you want, invest time to learn successful job interviewing techniques and significantly increase your odds of getting that job, spend time with your recruitment consultant understanding the culture of the business, make a list of the interview questions you expect and those that you fear and practice how you will answer them. Talk these through with your recruitment consultant, they are there to help. The job interview is the most important moment in your job search and in your career, so be prepared. It is your job interview skills that will secure the job offer. Preparation will make all the difference in your performance because the most qualified person is not always the person that actually gets the job. It's the person who interviews the best and is the best prepared that gets that job offer.
04. 11. 2016

How to write a great CV

Your CV is an extremely important document. It is your first opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to a prospective employer – it needs to be accurate, clear, concise and professional. If a CV has a poor layout, is full grammatical errors and riddled with spelling mistakes, it can be enough to turn a reader off, no matter how good your skills are. Keep colours to a minimum (ideally don't use colour), and keep your fonts consistent. It’s always a good idea to use mainstream fonts to ensure the reader sees the CV as it was intended to look. Let’s start with the basic structure. The length of a CV is always a contentious point and 2 pages is often stated as the ideal. However, job mobility over recent years means CVs often contain details of several roles and even if only briefly described, 2 pages are soon filled. It is perhaps sensible to aim for 3-4 pages max - much more than this and the reader is very unlikely to read the document in its entirety. There is no right or wrong layout, but the following is a good place to start: In the CV heading you can write your general information: Name Surname Local address E-mail address Phone number(s) CV Skills Summary (not summery!) This is the place to catch the readers' attention with your primary skills – you don’t need to go into great length about each. The skill summary is also often referred to as a personal (not personnel!) profile. CV Objective If you have a specific aim in your job move, it is worth adding this under your objectives ie "What is the next step in my career?" This should be a short, concise statement that informs the employer what kind of position you are looking for. The type of position, the role (managerial, supervisor, contractor) should be included as well. Professional or Work Experience description on your CV This section includes any work experience that you have in the field you are applying for. Even if the post was unpaid, voluntary, summer job, internship, co-op experience or extracurricular activity it is worth including - always try to explain any gaps in your CV and state whether your roles were permanent, contract, part time etc Each job detail should include this basic information: Name of organization. Title of position Length you held the post (dates) Responsibilities Also include languages (spoken/written/understood). Education on your CV List all of your qualifications in this section. Include certifications from non-academic institutions, especially those that are related to the job vacancy. The Activities and Interests Section in your CV Views differ regarding the inclusion of hobbies and interests as it is possible to both interest and alienate a reader. Any activities that you do in your free time, can be related to your job or give the reader a feeling of team work or motivation. Participating in student activities, professional associations or enthusiast clubs shows leadership qualities. Leave out any activities related to politics, religion or controversial topics as these can easily alienate the reader. CV References If you have references that you are willing to provide you can either include them in the end of the CV or state ‘References Available Upon Request’ Finally, check, check and check again. Don't just rely on spell checker - for example, a homonym won't always be picked up as it maybe spelled correctly but is the wrong word being used, as in the example above - summery vs summary!