Img 3605

Morson Training

Img 3612

Mental Health Awareness Training

With one in four people experiencing mental health issues each year and c.676 million people affected by these same issues worldwide, mental health well-being, first aid and awareness training is a crucial element of creating a happy, productive and sustainable workforce.

Employers and organisations have a duty to support their workforce, but with mental ill health contributing to 72 million working days being lost at a cost of £34.9 billion each year, ensuring that mental health is at the forefront of your well-being strategy is also commercially crucial.

Morson Training offer a range of support to help create, develop and deliver your health and well-being strategy. With national presence, dedicated training facilities and a team of consultants that can deliver in the comfort of your organisation, we can offer a service that is tailored to your needs.

All our courses are fully accredited through Ofqual-approved awarding bodies. 

Available courses:


MHFA Mental Health Course Delivery

Mental Health First Aid

A two-day course designed to give each Mental Health First Aider:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing.
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening. 
  • The knowledge to help someone and signpost them in order to seek early intervention, guiding them on their first footsteps to recovery.

► Mental Health Champion

A one-day course designed to provide:

  • An understanding of common mental health issues;
  • The knowledge to confidently advocate for mental health awareness
  • The ability to spot signs of mental ill health
  • Skills to support positive well-being.

► Mental Health Awareness

A half-day course designed to provide:

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • The confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue 


FAA Mental Health Course Delivery

► FAA Level 1 Award - 1/2 day

This 4-hour qualification provides learners with the knowledge to recognise a range of mental health conditions, how to start a supportive conversation and when and how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help. Learners will know how to recognise and manage stress.

Learners will not diagnose or treat mental health conditions as this can only be carried out by healthcare professionals but will gain the knowledge to identify when a person may have a condition and know where they can go to get help.


► FAA Level 2 Award - 1 day

This 6-hour qualification provides learners with the knowledge to recognise a range of mental health conditions, how to start a supportive conversation and when and how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help. Learners will know how to recognise and manage stress and understand the impact of substance abuse. They will learn about the first aid action plan for mental health, be able to put it in place and know how to implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace.

Learners will not diagnose or treat mental health conditions as this can only be carried out by healthcare professionals but will gain the knowledge to identify when a person may have a condition and know where they can go to get help.


► FAA Level 3 Award - 2 day

This 12-hour qualification provides learners with the knowledge to recognise a wide range of mental health conditions and learn about the support/therapy provided by professional healthcare providers. They will know how to start a supportive conversation and when and how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help. Learners will recognise and manage stress and understand the impact of substance abuse.

Learners will learn about the first aid action plan for mental health, be able to put it in place and understand how to implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace.

Learners will not diagnose or treat mental health conditions as this can only be carried out by healthcare professionals but will gain the knowledge to identify when a person may have a condition and know where they can go to get help

Img 3613
Find your course
  • Ged And Andy Standing Tall

    Morson Group CEO Ged Mason becomes patron of Andy Reid MBE’s Standing Tall Foundation

    ​Ged Mason OBE, Morson Group CEO, has become a patron of the Standing Tall Foundation, the charitable organisation set up by Morson ambassador and ex-forces veteran Andy Reid MBE to support vulnerable young people and veterans in local communities. Andy established the Standing Tall Foundation based on his own ‘lived experience’. While proud to have served in the armed forces in the 1st Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, he also believes that the societal factors and personal reasons that lead young people to join the armed forces are not always healthy ones. There are potentially damaging consequences of carrying personal issues into service only to have them compounded by traumatic events experienced whilst on active duty. Consequently, Andy has spent the last several years working to offer mental health support and veterans support. The inspiration for the Foundation came through helping Alex Kemp, another solider from Andy’s battalion. Alex was first on the scene when Andy stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan. Providing care for him in the crucial first minutes after the explosion, Alex helped save Andy’s life. Several years ago, Alex found himself suffering from PTSD and homeless. With the assistance of Morson Group and Step Forward Homes, Andy helped provide support, work and accommodation for Alex, turning his life around. This intervention was a contributory factor which led to the eventual formation of the Standing Tall Foundation, as Andy saw at close quarters the level of need and the inability of traditional larger charitable institutions to respond. Set up to consolidate his charitable activities, the Standing Tall Foundation’s overarching aim is to support vulnerable young people and veterans in local communities. It works to achieve this objective by delivering funded programmes, designed to improve, enhance and help individuals across a broad spectrum of needs. In order to future proof the charity, Andy has looked to enlist patrons to help with key financial support as the charity grows in scope and reach. Andy Reid MBE said: “There has never been a greater need in modern times for support organisations, particularly due to the effects of the pandemic. Ged has become a very good friend and role model to me since I commenced working for Morson Group as a brand ambassador. It was therefore an easy choice when I started to consider who might be a potential patron for my foundation. In effect the decision made itself. I believe Ged’s involvement can only push the Foundation on to greater things, opening contacts and opportunities which might otherwise be unobtainable. This will enable us to help more people and work with greater reach. The Standing Tall Foundation board and I are delighted to have Ged on board as a patron.” Ged Mason OBE said: “When I first met Andy several years ago, I saw a man who embodied bravery, courage, respect, integrity and selfless commitment to helping others. I could think of nobody more suited to the role of ambassador to the Morson Group and Andy has been active in not only helping our teams recruit ex-forces veterans into civilian careers but has also taken part in our charity activity. I’m incredibly proud to be supporting the Standing Tall Foundation and I look forward to seeing Andy make it expand so he can do what he does so well – helping vulnerable people.” Find out more about Morson's commitment to helping ex-forces personnel transition to a civilian career

    Find out more
  • Image 2021 01 15 T11 01 51

    Network Rail prepares first pre-built UK tunnel

    ​Network Rail have announced they are ready to move an 11,000 tonne, pre-built tunnel into place under one of the UK’s busiest railway lines, in what is a first for UK engineering.  The huge concrete box weighing more than the Eiffel Tower, will be slid under the rail infrastructure at Werrington, north of Peterborough, where the East Coast main line is crossed by a slow moving east-west freight route. The purpose of the tunnel is to take slower freight trains off the fast route, speeding up services and improving reliability.  This will be a nine-day operation with work taking place later this month, avoiding an extended time of passenger disruption if traditional tunnelling methods had been used. The tunnel has been constructed over the last nine months beside the line and is ready to be installed using massive jacks that will inch it into position, pushing it at just 1.5m per hour along pre-installed guiding supports.  Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast line stated: “This is a massive engineering challenge, but it will avoid hundreds of hours of closure on one of the most important lines in the country.This is industry leading work that really puts the needs of passengers first in how we approach improvement work.  In the past, Network Rail might have approached this problem by thinking about the easiest way to do the engineering. Instead, I’m proud to say we have come up with a creative and innovative solution that will deliver massive benefits while keeping disruption to a minimum.” Despite the line being kept open during the installation, it will mean a very limited number of services will run south of Grantham throughout the operation. Passengers who must travel are asked to plan ahead and think about whether journeys are necessary while the work is taking place. Paul added: “Passengers should only travel south of Grantham during these nine days if they have to,” said a spokesperson on behalf of the line’s train operators. “We strongly advise people to check before they travel and allow plenty of time as journeys will take longer.” Rail minister, Chris Heaton was also full of praise for the innovative project: “This is an astonishing feat, underlining this country’s reputation for pioneering engineering and delivering major upgrades for passengers.”“By undertaking a project of this magnitude now we are making the most of our railways being quieter, putting in place vital new infrastructure that will improve our railways for when passengers are safe to return.”Morson is the UK's leading rail recruiter, working on some of the biggest rail projects. Search our latest jobs in rail here

    Find out more
  • Client remote onboarding

    Remotely implementing recruitment models in the wake of COVID-19

    COVID-19 and its impact on social distancing and physical meetings demanded that Morson shake up how we deliver the onboarding process for clients who wish to transfer away from their incumbent recruitment provider. Interim Head of Implementation, Charlotte Lewis, explains how we've taken implementation online, creating an efficient, effective and engaging onboarding experience for our clients. ​Usually, during this time in a relationship with a new client, we’d spend months working physically alongside the different teams requiring our services to hand-hold them through the process. The Coronavirus restrictions meant that wasn’t going to be possible in 2020, but our ability to adapt has revealed a new way of working, which will now create major efficiencies in our typical method and will prove useful for businesses way beyond the virus. Early in 2020, when news of the pandemic began to emerge, we started considering how the Government’s EAST communications framework could be applied to clients who require it – but digitally. We needed to make everything we would normally do face to face as easy, attractive, social and timely as possible, using only online platforms. Our usually day-long sessions had to be more easily digestible and designed to establish partnerships that could be strong from afar, rather than in close proximity, which is what we and our clients have always been used to. It’s something we were considering ahead of the pandemic, but it became a priority when COVID-19 hit and we were requested to deliver an online migration by a new client. We’d recently been appointed as its Managed Service Provider (MSP) for contingent labour resource, supplying specialist and niche contractors more time and cost efficiently, and the company was as keen as us to ensure the pandemic didn’t halt the transition away from their incumbent. As such, the groundwork we had already put in place to develop our digital implementation strategy came to fruition while being tested in a real life scenario. The client team was already familiar with using online video platforms to deliver training and professional development to its global workforce, and we worked with their preferences in mind. We held online conferences, interactive workshops, seminars, forums and drop in sessions to gain all the information we normally would in face to face settings, but made the sessions shorter to avoid Zoom fatigue. We also enabled an element of socialising online; the client’s finance, systems and operations teams had the opportunity to learn more about our MSP, meet our team members, hear about the benefits we could bring to their company and challenge us on anything that they were unsure of. At times, we had more than 70 team members actively participating in what we were offering. It provided the reassurance to both parties that, thanks to technology, we could take on the challenge lockdown presented to us and achieve brilliant results. Typically, implementation periods take a minimum of 12 weeks and include an eight-week buffer to mitigate for the usual delays that come with running businesses. However, in this very first experience of putting our digital strategy to the test, the entire implementation process was completed on time, in less than three months – even with a pandemic rumbling along in the background. What’s been most pleasing about this project is that we’re now able to offer a completely new service to other businesses. It’s been tried and tested and proven to be successful thanks to our agility; we were able to pivot and accommodate the client’s needs, on-demand, to enable better outcomes and increased productivity for them as a result. We’ll now use this same process to provide other clients with an analysis of the ever-changing labour market, looking at how the economic unrest around the world might be mitigated using different recruitment models. And we’ll be able to do so without limitation, knowing that technology enables true value and benefits for our clients. ​​“We understand that so many of our clients bigger strategic goals are linked to talent. Thanks to our in-depth market intelligence, vertical expertise, industry-leading technology and collaborative approach, we can support our clients businesses through these challenging market uncertainties, the diversifying of workforces, preparing for IR35, fulfilling local employment quotas, and any other tests our clients may face.” If you would like to find out more about how we can support your business and it's ambitions, get in touch with myself, Morson director, David Lynchehaun at david.lynchehaun@morson.com​

    Find out more
  • Image 2021 01 12 T11 36 14

    CEO Ged Mason offers donation to Crolla's Fox ABC gym

    ​Since the original Fox ABC gym was tragically burnt down in March last year, former Lightweight World Champion Anthony Crolla has been working tirelessly to relocate and rebuild his amateur gym which means so much to himself and the community. The gym holds a special place in Crolla’s heart as it was where he honed his craft as a youngster and witnessed so many locals’ lives changed for the better, due to the access to boxing in the area. After numerous setbacks throughout the year, Crolla finally found an old clubhouse at the Vestacare Stadium in Oldham that was fitting for the gym, and with months of hard work, had it ready to open in December.  With a brand-new ring, punchbags and a coach who has shined under the brightest lights in the sport, the gym represents an outlet for young people in the community to learn discipline, be more confident in themselves and feel part of a team. Team Morson went to visit the gym prior as the final touches were being made and Crolla was surprised by the visit of Morson CEO, Ged Mason, holding a cheque of £20,000 he was donating to the gym.  It was clear to see how much this donation meant to an emotional Anthony, who can now add the last details and get the gym opened up to those who need it most when it is safe to do so. Speaking on the donation Ged stated to Crolla: “I remember the night of the fire and it was really sad and I wanted to do something to help you along. It’s been fantastic what you’ve done to get this place back on its feet, it’s not just the people at the Boxing club, it’s all the local community that it helps” Crolla explained how the donation will help the gym specifically: “As a boxing gym we’re ready to go, we’ve got some weights to come in and maybe a few machines, so that cheque will help massively” He added: “What gives me the most joy is helping others achieve their dream. Not every person who walks through this door will be a fighter

    Find out more
  • Image 2021 01 11 T11 24 49

    Work begins on first liquid air energy plant

    ​Work has begun on the world’s first commercial liquid air storage facility near Manchester, alongside a visitor centre with the hope of turning the ambitious project into a tourist attraction.  The 50MW facility will store enough power for around 50,000 homes for five hours.UK based High Power and independent/natural gas developer Carlton Power will build and operate the ‘Cryobattery’, which could later be expanded to add more storage. The plant will use surplus electricity from wind farms at night to compress air so hard that it becomes a liquid at -196 Celsius. When there is a peak in demand in a day or a month, the liquid air will be warmed so it expands. The resulting rush of air will drive a turbine to make electricity, which can be sold back to the grid. Last year, Highview Power was awarded a £10 million grant from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build the facility at Trafford Energy Park, in Carrington Village. The visitor centre, scheduled to open in the first quarter of this year, will provide an immersive experience allowing visitors not only to see the progress of the site being built, but also to have the opportunity to take virtual tours.Javier Cavada, Highview Power CEO and president explained:“Our facility will deliver much needed clean, reliable and cost-efficient long duration energy storage to the National Grid. The CRYOBattery™ will help the UK to integrate renewable energy and stabilize the regional electrical grid to ensure future energy security during blackouts and other disruptions.”The first of its kind system was created by Peter Dearman, a self-taught inventor from Hertfordshire. Dearman, who is now a shareholder in Highview added:“It’s very exciting, we need many different forms of energy storage - and I’m confident liquid air will be one of them”Morson is a leading recruiter in the energy sector. Search our latest jobs in energy here

    Find out more
  • Ir35 Webinar (4)

    IR35 webinar: SOW, an IR35 compliant solution for clients

    ​The clock is ticking towards HMRC’s IR35 tax reforms. Private sector organisations who engage contractor populations are turning their attention to ensuring compliance with the legislation, yet few hiring managers, procurement heads and HR professionals consider a fully contracted-out service as a potential option. The next webinar in our IR35 series is dedicated to exploring this solution, often referred to as a Statement of Work (SOW) or a bought-out service, which removes the IR35 burden from end-clients. Register now.​​A fully contracted-out service – often referred to as a Statement of Work (SOW) or a bought-out service is a flexible, effective and highly successful commercial route which has many benefits and incidentally, can remove off-payroll considerations related to IR35. Already commonplace in engineering, IT and tech sectors, many other industries could benefit from choosing this advantageous and effective way of working.Whilst there is strictly no prescribed format, a fully contracted-out service comprises a ‘contract for services’, which governs the relationship and outputs agreed between the client and service provider. For more than 40 years, Morson Projects has been delivering fully contracted-out services to clients, long before IR35 legislation was established. However, since the introduction of IR35 in 2000, we have successfully delivered more than 12,000 projects as fully contracted-out solutions, with a value in excess of £750m.This method of working puts us in the position of the ‘End Client’ to any relevant Personal Service Company (PSC) engaged. It, therefore, means we are responsible for ensuring reasonable care is exercised correctly by producing and issuing an IR35 Status Determination Statement. During this 60-minute session, the panel will shine a spotlight on a service that Morson Projects has been providing clients throughout our 40 years in operation. A service that now has the additional benefit of removing the IR35 burden from our clients. Our panel will explain how they can help guide businesses through the offload process, helping them clearly define their requirements and supporting them in generating SOWs. We will then showcase our robust processes, procedures and tools to ensure IR35 compliance, which are underpinned with a comprehensive insurance policy.In what is an unprecedented opportunity to reset the IR35 agenda, ensure your business doesn’t get left behind. ​To find out more and to register your free place, click here. ​Meet our panel... ​Chris Burke, executive director, Morson ProjectsChris has a 45-year career history, 20 years of which have been spent at Morson Projects overseeing teams delivering engineering solutions to the Aviation, Power, Manufacturing, Transport and Nuclear sectors through outcome-led statements of work. As a result, Chris has unique knowledge and understanding of delivering the best technical solutions for clients in line with the new IR35 legislation.​Devina Ramanah, compliance support, Morson ProjectsDevina worked as legal adviser to Magistrates for HMCTS in the courts across West Yorkshire and Central Manchester for more than 10 years. Devina would advise all parties at court on points of law, practice and procedure, ensuring legal compliance and transparency, and brings a wealth of experience producing and delivering legal training.Devina has supported Morson since the introduction of the Finance Act 2017. She plays a pivotal role in building knowledge and raising competency in IR35 compliance, the creation of a reliable, insurable Status Determination Statement tool, whilst working closely with leading tax specialists to gain panel member status.​Gareth Beck, associate director, Morson ProjectsGareth brings more than 20 years’ industry experience and has played a leading role in providing Morson Projects’ clients with the right technical support to deliver their complex projects successfully for the past 13 years.Gareth has extensive experience of constructing and delivering fixed-price work packages, managing the contract for services and assuming responsibility for a project’s successful delivery by utilising a talented technical team, which Morson Projects has been doing long before IR35 legislation was established. ​To find out more about the benefits of a SOW visit our IR35 solutions page or contact our team at ir35@morson.com

    Find out more
  • Pri 160619703

    Firms building HS2 announce skills, jobs and training plans for London

    Network Rail recently announced that they have joined multiple construction firms in the building of HS2 to set out long-term plans to ensure that people living in seven London boroughs can benefit from the project. Labelled as the ‘Empowering Communities’ initiative, it aims to: Create jobs and offer training for those that are unemployed or homeless Work with residents to identify and support community projects Help young people to develop new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and access apprenticeships Build a sustainable legacy, continuing to benefit even after work is completed Others that are also involved in the scheme include HS2 LTD and its contractors such as Costain, Skanska, STRABAG, Mace Dragados and Arup. With Network Rail now involved, this can help all partners better reach local communities in the seven boroughs along the London section of the HS2 route. Speaking on the initiative, James Dean, Network Rail West Coast South route director, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with industry partners to create opportunities for people in the local area. Euston station sits in the heart of Camden, as well as serving tens of thousands of passengers a day we offer great jobs and training. “We’re going to put significant people power behind this social legacy project. Everybody at Network Rail gets five days volunteer leave. I hope we can use those days to make a real difference” Louise Dailly, chair of the Empowering Communities steering group and head of social sustainability, at Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “We’re delighted Network Rail has joined the Empowering Communities partnership.The programme brings together the strengths of the partner organisations and enables us to deliver more together than we could individually. She continued: “This collaborative approach will boost opportunities for local people and deliver long-lasting benefits in terms of tackling worklessness, homelessness and providing opportunities for local young people, businesses and community projects.” The seven London boroughs who will benefit from the new scheme are: Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster. Morson is the UK's leading rail recruiter, working on some of the biggest rail projects. Search our latest jobs in rail here Find out more about Morson Training's apprenticeship programme by clicking here

    Find out more
  • Sale

    Morson's Sporting Moments of 2020!

    In a truly unprecedented year, the presence of sport helped many escape the difficulties of lockdown life in 2020 and despite the stop/start nature of things, Morson still celebrated some incredible moments across the biggest stages in rugby, boxing and horse racing last year. Boxing One of Morson’s most successful ambassadors over the years, Scott Quigg, retired from the sport of boxing in March 2020 after a defeat to Jono Carroll at the Manchester Arena. This marked the end of an era for Morson and for Manchester boxing as a whole, as Anthony Crolla had only announced his retirement at the same arena at the end of 2019. We thank Scott for representing the company so proudly on some of the biggest stages the sport has seen over the years and hope he has enjoyed his deserved time away from the ring. A big success story of 2020 was the continued rise of Kieran Farrell, who created great opportunities for his fighters on Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren’s televised shows through building great relationships with both parties. This even saw Kieran show off his now-famous darts skills by winning the highly viewed Betfred Bubble Darts Cup, beating out the likes of Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew to secure the trophy in hilarious fashion. Finishing the year was Callum Smith who finally faced the pound for pound best fighter in the sport in Canelo Alvarez at the Alamadome in Texas on December 19th. Even though Smith was ultimately defeated, this proved to be the biggest boxing attraction Morson was involved in since the mega-fight between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather back in 2007 and Smith fought valiantly against one of the current greats in the game today. We know Callum will be back in a big way in 2021 and can’t wait to see him continue to mix it up with the best super-middleweights in the world.   Rugby Sale Sharks provided arguably Morson’s greatest rugby moment to date by lifting the Premiership Rugby Cup in a dramatic win over Northampton Saints in September. This ended a 14-year wait for a trophy for the Manchester-based club and will hopefully kick-start a series of silverware in the years to come. Sale currently sit fourth in the Gallagher Premiership with three wins and two losses and we will continue to cover their season in the months ahead. Meanwhile in Rugby League, Salford Red Devils responded to those expecting a Grand Final hangover season by reaching the final of the Challenge Cup for the first time in 50 years. The Red Devils secured their spot at Wembley with a nail-biting win in a thrilling semi-final against Warrington Wolves. In an equally tense final, Salford, unfortunately, came up short against Leeds Rhinos, losing by a point in the dying minutes. Despite this loss, Salford silenced any doubters that their trip to the Grand Final was a one-season wonder and that they are looking to be a force to stay. The 2021 Super-League season begins in March, so keep an eye out for all of our Rugby League content on Morson Sport this year.   Horse Racing We provided coverage for the biggest race of the year at the Cheltenham Gold Cup with exclusive preview content filmed at Paul Nicholls’ stables in Somerset and live tweets and video content throughout the day leading up to Clan Des Obeaux’s race from Cheltenham. This was brilliant access for one of the landmark sporting events of the year and despite Clan not winning the race, it was another incredible day to be a part of. Paul Nicholls also finished the year on the high with another King George VI win as Bryorny Frost led Frodon to the win, bringing home one of the sport's biggest prizes to Nicholls' stable yet again.     Stay up to date with Morson Sport by following us on Twitter @MorsonGroup

    Find out more
  • Shutterstock 1012214995sm

    The Inclusive Culture Pledge 2021: Our commitment to building an inclusive culture

    At Morson, we are committed to improving the diversity of our company and building inclusive cultures every day. Not only is this good for business, but it’s also the right thing to do. We aim to be a truly 21st-century workforce, where everyone’s talents are welcomed, valued and nurtured.As a key part of our 2021 diversity and inclusion strategy, we're thrilled to announce that Morson, has once again joined leading companies from a range of sectors and industries in signing the Inclusive Culture Pledge for a further year in 2021, an initiative managed by diversity consultancy The EW Group. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are becoming increasingly important for both employers and employees. Research has shown that diverse businesses are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry’s national average. For potential job hunters, 67% now consider a diverse workforce is an important factor when considering job offers.By signing up to the Pledge, we will again have the support of the EW Group, a specialist in diversity and inclusion. Throughout the year, our colleagues will benefit from a year of dedicated support on five key aspects of diversity development: Leadership, People, Brand, Data and Future.  Together this will provide a focus for building our skills, awareness, confidence and maturity around workplace diversity over the course of 2021. In doing so, we are making a commitment, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture. Joining the Pledge is a public commitment that we take diversity and inclusion seriously and that we understand the need to provide our employees with a safe, fair and supportive place to work. We’re looking forward to the events provided as part of the Pledge, which will build our internal capacity and ensure we work at the cutting edge of diversity and inclusion. This is an initiative that we believe will benefit our colleagues, customers and stakeholders.For more information visit https://theewgroup.com

    Find out more
  • Pexels Karolina Grabowska 5716815

    2021: The year to consider contracting

    Authored by Rhys Harris, associate director – engineering, process & construction at the Morson Group"I’ve been working in the recruitment industry for 23 years and I don’t think any 12-month period has ever inflicted so much change on the ways we live and work as 2020 has.There have been three main factors. The first and most obvious is the pandemic. This would’ve created enough seismic change on its own but teamed with changing legislation, such as the countdown to IR35 in April 2021, and the stalling Brexit deal, there is food for thought amongst blue and white-collar industries about how the year has shaped our futures.Primarily, those who have sadly lost jobs or have been made redundant as a result of COVID-19 might be looking at the steps they can take to find a new way of working. Many will be considering contracting but may be unsure about how to approach it after years of being a permanently employed worker.Large infrastructure projects rely on freelance and contractor resource, and these ‘super projects’ can present a strong opportunity for those considering self-employment as their next move. The HS2 project alone will create 30,000 contracting roles in the next three years, while the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station development will require 25,000 freelance roles over the next seven years. The labour requirements span blue and white-collar profiles and contractors are required across administrative, legal, finance, IT and marketing roles alongside the expected construction related roles such as project and commercial management, planners, engineers and trades, and labour skilled individuals.Contractors account for 5.2 per cent of the UK workforce, contributing £125bn to the economy every year. Those figures have fluctuated across 2020, but – generally – recessions offer something positive for those in temporary roles because employers are keen to minimise risk. As such, they’ll turn to contracting to meet their resourcing requirements and avoid the long-term commitment of engaging with a full-time employee. In recessions, companies become very project focused in certain areas especially in times of uncertainty.So, what should you consider when it comes to contracting if you haven’t already explored it as an option?As with any form of employment, there are pros and cons. Flexibility is one of the major benefits – whether that’s in terms of the job role or the hours you work. You’re your own boss and you alone can decide which roles you want to explore that fit with your interest, location or family life. That, in turn, tends to improve your work/life balance. Many find that contracting better supports the career of their partner, and enables them to see more of their children. Additionally, contractor and freelance rates tend to be slightly higher than those who are fully employed.However, you are reliant on yourself for finding work. You’ll need to develop and nurture your own network, using references and recommendations to secure listing with the right agencies or companies that offer contractor roles. Additionally, project-based work – that which suits lots of contractors – have varying contract durations, some long term others not, so if you find yourself in need of a new job with just a week to spare, you’ll need to call on your network of contacts to present new opportunities to you that are available.Contracting requires resilience and strength, and a level of tenacity to get what you want out of it. For example, you’ll need to negotiate your own day rate and it’ll be down to you to ensure you receive what you need without selling yourself short. The agency you work with will be helpful in gauging what the market rates are for your level of experience, so stay close to your trusted contacts. Always consider a higher day rate as an element of assurance for yourself; you won’t receive holiday or sick pay, and you’ll need to set up a pension, so these things must be accounted for in your day rate.Consider all the options open to you in terms of incorporating your own limited company or becoming part of an umbrella company who will look after all of your tax obligations. Each route to contracting will require a lot of research, but you can choose whichever best suits your lifestyleFinally, always bear in mind the role a recruitment agency can play in you being successful as a contractor. These relationships are incredibly important and should be cherished. Agencies are usually the portal of access to clients who require your talent. Treating agencies as a means to an end might see you selected for fewer roles in the long run, as you won’t be front of mind for those filling client resourcing requirements.Agencies develop strong relationships of their own with businesses that rely on them; as such, they only want to supply the best talent, and contractors that demonstrate a willingness and passion for their trade. Bring both those things into your relationship with a recruitment agency, and you’ll never experience any downtime as a contractor.The best agencies treat their candidates just as well as they do their clients. Candidates are the lifeblood of their business so treating the professionally is a minimum requirement. Equally, treat your recruitment partners of choice with the same amount of respect. They operate and work closely with a lot of clients that you potentially want to work with so keep yourself at the front of the queue.  The last 12 months have taught us that the future will always be unclear. For those who’ve always been interested in contracting but have associated it with uncertainty, now might be the best time to alter your mindset. There are a huge number of benefits to this way of working, many of which will lead to more positive outcomes on your wellbeing and financial situation than full-time employment ever could. A lack of clarity doesn’t have to mean a lack of control, and contracting puts the control back in your own hands."If you have further questions, get in touch at rhys.harris@morson.com or search our latest contracting opportunities here www.morson.com/jobs/contractUseful linksDifferent types of employment options:https://parasolgroup.co.uk/help-me-decide/faqs/employment-options/Top things to know/prepare before moving into contracting and self-employment: https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/10_tips_first_time_uk_contracting.aspxStats on contracting pre and post COVID: IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) is at the forefront of research into freelancing and self-employment. It works with members, leading academic institutions and research agencies to shed light on the needs and interests of freelancers so that it can champion them in Government and across industry.Freelancer Confidence Index hub: https://www.ipse.co.uk/policy/freelance-confidence-index-hub.htmlWhat does the future look like for contracting? https://www.ipse.co.uk/event/contractor-trends-in-2020-what-can-we-learn-for-2021.html 

    Find out more
  • Pexels Olya Kobruseva 5428833

    Getting ahead of IR35 | We answer your questions

    The Government may have given businesses an additional 12 months on top of the original April 2020 deadline to prepare for the reforms to IR35 legislation, but doing so in today’s climate is anything but normal.With many private sector organisations prioritising how they tackle the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic, combined with the potential of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, the last few quarters have been spent focusing on how to adapt operations and labour strategies against much bigger problems.However, with less than six months to go until the updated deadline comes into play, organisations must once again place IR35 at the top of their talent agenda, taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk that the upcoming reforms bring.What is changing?From 6th April 2021, determining the correct IR35 status will switch from the individual to you, the end client.Those who fail to identify and correctly comply could face significant financial penalties, as well as the potential legal and reputational damage of not prioritising your greatest asset – your people.How can I prepare?To help clients prepare for this milestone moment, we’re holding a series of webinars about IR35 reform and the responsibilities that will come to lie with businesses, their contractors and us as their recruitment agency partner.In our latest webinar, we explored how businesses must demonstrate ‘reasonable care’ when considering the employment status of their contractors. From there, there’s a jigsaw of different elements to pull together to remain compliant, including updating contractual terms, assessing financial risk, looking at substitutions and personal services then how the new process is integrated to every ‘in scope’ worker.We’re repeating our webinar on 12th January 2021, 11am – 12pm, for those who were unable to attend. However, we wanted to answer some questions that were raised during the session which we think will give our future webinar attendees a greater knowledge on IR35, making this a useful asset when it comes to your own reform considerations.Q&AThe below queries have been responded to jointly by the three experts who headed up our webinar – Phil Beardwood, compliance & assurance director at the Morson Group; Chris Bloor, compliance & assurance manager at Champion Contractors and Amy Jones, associate at Thorntons Law LLP.Q: As a freelance HR consultant working under my own Ltd company, what preparation should I be doing in preparation for IR35? My agreement has a right of substitution, but I have never had to apply this.A: If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to obtain your own assessment to see if how you provide your services would be considered inside or outside of the legislation. Collate as much evidence of what you consider sets you aside as different to an employee and speak with your end client(s) to get their interpretation of the relationship. Ultimately, it will be the end client that needs to make the determination and pass down the chain, but facilitating and supporting this will be beneficial on both sides.It’s positive news that your contract includes the right to substitute, however, it will be important to see how this will be applied by the client if or when you wanted to provide an alternative worker. With that in mind, speak with your client(s) ASAP so that you can work together to obtain a compliant solution. You should also consider who you might provide as a substitute if this situation ever arose and agree terms with them so that you can further demonstrate that a substitution could realistically happen.Q: Is there a standard format of SDS we should be using?A: Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard format or template for what an SDS would look like. However, it should confirm the overall determination, explaining the reasoning behind why the client has determined the worker to be in or outside of scope, detailing all elements of working day practices, and should ideally also include the appeal process. HMRC has provided further details about client requirements here.  Q: We're a small business exempt from determination, but we sometimes resource our clients’ teams with freelancers. What should happen in these situations? Should our end client make the determination? And if a determination is made, who pays NI and tax - is this paid by the contractor? A: First you need to establish who is the actual end client because that is where the obligation to provide the determination lies. If the end client passes the SDS down the chain to you as the intermediary then, if in scope, you will be classed as the fee payer and must deduct Tax/NI at source.As a small business, your responsibility is to confirm your size if asked by the contractor or organisation you contract with. This is to make sure that you, agencies and workers can consider what rules apply.Q: I received an email indicating I will have my hourly rate reduced to deduct ENIC. I pay into a company pension and thought this was calculated before NIC/corporation tax deduction. How do I recover the ENIC on the sum I put into a company pension?A: If you opt to be paid PAYE by Morson then there will not be the ability to operate a salary sacrifice pension arrangement. This can be accommodated by some of our umbrella company providers such as Champion Contractors. Please contact them directly to discuss your circumstances.Q: Which contract takes precedence - client-agency or agency-contractor?A: Neither holds precedence, as both need to be reviewed to ensure there is congruence through the supply chain. However, for the purposes of an IR35 assessment you should consider the contract in place between the PSC and the agency as taking precedence. That’s because the upper level contract would default as the overriding agreement with the intermediary. However, HMRC will attempt to construct a hypothetical contract based on actual working practices.Q: We are not-for-profit, and agencies are already asking about our IR35 determinations, but we believe we are in the April 2021 roll out alongside the private sector. Is this the case?A: Many clients and agencies are seeking this information now in relation to assignments which they know will continue beyond 6 April 2021, and which they are trying to get ahead of. Firstly, check to ensure your organisation will be required to make determinations, as charities and not-for-profits must meet two of the three thresholds over two accounting periods to fall under the new IR35 rules. These thresholds are an annual turnover of £10.2million or more, a balance sheet total of more than £5.1million and having over 50 employees.If this is the case, and you are responsible for making these determinations, then it will be important to start your preparations ASAP. Further information on this, and all the above questions – plus more concerning IR35 reform – is available in our webinar slide deck which can be requested by emailing IR35@morson.comAlternatively, you can attend our next webinar on 12th January 2021, 11am – 12pm, and can ask your own questions.Early preparation for IR35 reform will give you an advantage, and we have everything you need to ensure you can compliantly support your contractor workforce.

    Find out more
  • Untitled Design (25)

    "I will forever be grateful for the financial support" | Gerry Mason Scholars at the University of Salford offer 2020 update

    In 2015, the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarships were established at the University of Salford, to help the brightest and the best in engineering flourish by offering financial support for their three-year courses. The scholarships were named in honour of the late Morson founder Gerry Mason and since their foundation has seen three sets of student graduate, some of whom have ended up working within the Morson Group.    After a challenging year in 2020, the University of Salford has offered an update on the progress of the current batch of students working towards degrees in Computer Science:   "We would like to thank you, the Morson Group, for your continued support of the University of Salford and our students. Your generosity has not only provided our University with the Morson Maker Space, a space which encourages and enables innovative collaboration and thinking, but life-changing scholarships.   As you are aware, the Morson Group Scholarships are invaluable to our students; not only do they provide financial support, they instil a sense of confidence in every one of our scholars, motivating them to reach their full potential.   Given the challenges of 2020, we are delighted to present a series of progress reports from some of our wonderful Mason Group scholars with you. Covid-19 has had a profound impact upon the lives of people around the world, but we are immensely proud of the perseverance of these talented individuals as they adjust to a new way of learning.   We hope you enjoy reading these updates and thank you once again, we hope you are as proud of them as we are." - The University of Salford  Alisha Sadiq BSc (Hons) Computer Science "As a recipient of the Morson Group Scholarship, I am writing to update you on the progress of my studies thus far. I am studying BSc (Hons) Computer Science and I am currently in my second year of study.   I am sure you are aware, due to the ongoing pandemic, that all my modules have been moved online. This has been quite a challenge, with not only stepping up from first year to second year but with it all online. The lack of face-to-face interaction with both my peers and tutors can become frustrating, especially during workshops, and I do miss the group interaction I could have had. However, I feel I am more comfortable asking questions in lectures online. Moreover, I am able to save time that I would have otherwise spent on travelling to campus to finish off workshops etc. Although there has been some pros and cons to online learning, overall, I think that I am doing okay, planning my days to ensure all my work is completed on time.   All my exams have been replaced by assignments, I have already submitted a few and have a few assignments due before the Christmas break. I am looking forward to spending time with my family at Christmas, after what has been such a challenging year. This scholarship has made me feel much more motivated to work hard and excel in my studies at university. Even during times where this online setting feels frustrating, to have a donor who believes in me and supports me is something that I am incredibly grateful for. Therefore, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the donor for their continuous support and belief in me.   Thank you for your investment in students like myself and in our education. By awarding me the scholarship, you are allowing me to focus on the most important aspect of university, learning. Continuing my studies wouldn’t be possible without generous support from scholarship donors like yourself. Once again, thank you for making this possible."     Calum Young BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Cyber Security "My studies so far this semester have been going ok, and I personally like the idea of online lectures as it allows me to go back and replay them so that I can get a better understanding. One significant milestone this year is that I have recently been in the position to open my own business drop shipping. It is only because of the freedom the scholarship has given me that I have been able to save up and start this business, so a massive thank you to you for gifting it to me as without it, I don’t know where I would be today. ​Over Christmas, I will be spending time working on my business as I have free time away from the University. I am very much looking forward to semester two as, so far, this has been the most enjoyable year of study, with the best modules. My scholarship has, without a doubt, been the most important thing to happen to me at University. It has given me freedom which I never thought I could have due to my financial situation when I started university, so I will forever be grateful for it as it has truly made my university experience the best it could ever be. Thank you for gifting me this scholarship. Without sounding dramatic, the money really has changed my life as it has allowed me to truly enjoy the past three years without the stress of money always hanging over my head."     In 2019, University of Salford and Morson Group launched two new facilities featuring the latest industry-standard manufacturing technologies to enable students to learn real-world engineering skills in relation to design for manufacture, assembly and inspection, allowing hands-on practical experience to be a step-ahead of the average graduate.   All at Morson with our latest group of Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholars the very best of luck for the rest of their courses, and look forward to hearing updates from them as they work towards graduation.   Find out more about the Morson Marker Space here

    Find out more