Our onsite teams offer invaluable support to clients; our onsite team can be part of managed serviced arrangements, supporting specific client locations as part of a larger contract, or can be placed onsite for particular projects, skillsets or initiatives.
Onsite support ensures a collaborative relationship that enables Morson to deliver a tailored service.
Our onsite teams can provide our clients with:
Luck in Western business culture is often considered to be a dirty four-letter-word. But the truth is that fortune plays a part in every success story – and every failure. Many successful people acknowledge that luck is a factor in business, including Sir Richard Branson. In his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, he says: "To be successful, you have to be out there; you have to hit the ground running. And if you have a good team around you - and more than a fair share of luck - you might make something happen."In Eastern culture, luck is taken seriously. There is tremendous diversity in people’s attitudes toward luck in the East, but there are also many constants. The symbolic architecture in China for example has several examples which pertain to luck and business. Most notably, certain numbers signify wealth, prosperity, success, and longevity. The luckiest numbers are six (good for business), eight (representing wealth and prosperity), and nine (meaning long-lasting). The number eight is a particularly potent symbol because its pronunciation is a homonym for “prosperity/to get rich”. A prestigious address in the UK can be important for UK businesses, but the Chinese put as much importance on telephone numbers. When observing a business card a Chinese business person will focus on the numbers. The more 8s there are in a telephone number, the higher the perceived status of the company.A number 8 in the postal or telephone code of an area can positively boost sales to Chinese buyers. Monterey Park in California, now known as the “Chinese Beverley Hills” was successfully developed by Fred Hsieh. The key marketing tool? The area had telephone code 818.So, should we take luck seriously?Chengwei Liu, Professor of Strategy and Behavioural Science at ESMT Berlin, has spent several years researching extraordinary performance in the world of business and concluded that often luck is mistaken for skill. Instead of learning from “great firms” and trying to imitate the most successful people and organisations, Liu's research suggests that the more exceptional success is, the less we can learn from them because moving from “good to great” often requires luck by being in the right place at the right time.A great example of Liu's theory is an anecdote from entrepreneur Will King, founder of King of Shaves, in which he connects the sources of success and the role that luck plays."Napoleon was once famously asked: 'Would you prefer courageous or brilliant generals?' He replied: 'Lucky ones'. Of course, luck plays a part in success, being at the right place, at the right time, with the right product certainly helps, but you also need the strategy. Of course, people who work hard get the chance to open more doors than others, and you never know who or what might be standing behind the next door…"Luck played a part in King of Shaves' growth, especially in the early 1990s. The internet was in its infancy and we were able to snaffle the web address shave.com for just $35! There were 'only' two competitors in our market space - Gillette and Colgate Palmolive - I'd no idea there was so few. I always regarded KMI (the company I founded to market King of Shaves) as a 'lucky' company, something always came along that kept us ahead of the rest."Success comes from many sources, but entrepreneurs usually hold themselves primarily responsible. After all, if they hadn't started it up, there'd be nothing to get lucky with. But, entrepreneurs must keep a sense of perspective of their 'genius'. Some are happy to tell you all about when they've not been so lucky (or even failed), which gives an important context to what success looks like. Some unluckiness - aka failure - will help you to become lucky - aka successful."In his latest book ‘Go Luck Yourself’ author and brand strategist, Andy Nairn, contends that organisations spend too much time trying to reduce the role of chance and not enough encouraging serendipity. Drawing on everything from architecture to zoology and almost 30 years working with some of the most successful companies on the planet, the book reveals a series of thought-provoking, luck-induced strategies and explores the power of luck in building a brand.As one of the world's most respected brand strategists and a founder of one of the UK's most successful creative agencies, Lucky Generals, he’s sharing his luck with others, donating his royalties for Go Luck Yourself to Commercial Break: an organisation that helps working-class kids get a lucky break into the creative industries.Is it possible to capitalise on luck?So, if success is down to luck should I even try? Yes, as the above examples have proven, luck is much more than being ‘lucky’.“Chance favours the prepared mind,” as Louis Pasteur, the French chemist, once wrote. Luck and timing can be an important part of the success of any company. Good and bad luck affects everyone, but only some can maximise the return on luck. Indeed, you can increase the chances of luck shining on your business by changing your thoughts and behaviours to get better results; uncover your organisation’s hidden treasures, spot opportunities in unexpected places and turn misfortune into good fortune. Here are 4 actionable tips to let luck into your life: Maximize each opportunity: Lucky people go out and look for additional possibilities to make things happen. Don’t bet the success of your business on a single action or decision. And don’t invest your company's future on one product, employee or customer. The more chances you have for success; the more times you can be successful. Make small, patient decisions. Learn what you can from the results, and then take another action. This can also help minimise the damage of a failure and may allow you to learn from each result. Listen to your gut: Lucky people tend to sharpen, then act on their intuitions. Unlucky people likely don't trust themselves or their actions. Developing intuition is about honing a skill in a certain area to see patterns that others miss. It takes diligent practice over a long period of time.Expect luck: People who think they're lucky and successful may have more of an opportunity for it to end up that way. This is because they optimistically focus on a victorious outcome. In Earl Nightingale’s book, The Strangest Secret, he emphasised that “we become what we think about.” In business, if you focus on being afraid of not making a sale, you probably won’t make that sale. If you're pessimistic, your actions can become invested in failure rather than success. In fact, according to research led by Lysann Damisch of the University of Cologne in Germany, wishing someone luck can improve their chances of success.Optimise misfortune: You will likely fail some of the time. Whether this is due to wrong actions, insufficient training, poor timing or just plain bad luck isn't important. What is key is to learn what you can from failure right now, move on to take another action that can give you an additional chance of success.Finally, remember when all else fails, do what movie producer Samuel Goldwyn claimed: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”Find out more
In modern day workplaces, diversity centres upon a company’s ability to attract and retain specific hard to reach groups. They are often those who have experienced discrimination or faced barriers between them and employment opportunities. True ED&I is achieving an understanding of the challenges that these groups face on a regular basis, and using that knowledge to eliminate obstacles and provide a realistic pathway to the positive opportunities they could present to themselves and the organisations they work for if those experiences were taken away. Though we sought to hear personal experiences from representatives of a variety of minority groups – determined based on their background, sex, race and more – the outcomes have indicated that while colleagues from BAME groups face significant challenges, so too do those who identify as female or transgender. And for females and transgender individuals from BAME backgrounds, the discrimination deepens further. Individuals identifying as femaleMore women are employed today than at any time in history, yet females continue to encounter significant barriers. In addition to the gender pay gap, which sees men often earning more than female counterparts in the same role, women only make up a small minority of CEOs and board members. Looking beyond pay and gender balance, women also face issues of bias and harassment, with clear examples highlighted in our survey. Specific instances cited include: “I was bypassed for a promotion opportunity after being told that as I had just got married, I would therefore have children and soon be off work.” “I experienced sexism from an older Senior Manager who said women are better out in the field ‘showing leg’ than working in the office.” “I was threatened, on more than one occasion, by a male superior who must have felt threatened by me.” “There was a lack of facilities for female engineers, such as places to put lockers, together with a lack of variety in women's clothing sizes that were available for my role.” “Returning to work on a part-time basis due to childcare commitments and receiving negative comments from management and full-time colleagues about leaving the office early, having an 'easy life' and being a 'part-timer'.” Further complications arise in STEM-related fields – which are historically occupied by males and therefore most at risk of unconscious bias showing preference towards male colleagues – and when we consider the likelihood of discrimination against BAME females. Percentage who have experienced discrimination in the workplace (current or previous role) BAME participantsNon BAME participants Female 55%Female 34% Male 47%Male 25% Individuals identifying as transgenderLGBTQ+ workers continue to experience discrimination in the workplace and care is needed when developing ED&I strategies specific to this group, with transgender workers, for example, facing different experiences, interests, challenges and discrimination even when compared to gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals. In relation to our research, 100 per cent of transgender males surveyed said knowing that an industry is renowned for discrimination against certain demographics – including gender or sexuality – would put them off applying for a role. Furthermore, this audience segment was most likely to report challenges with sourcing and securing roles in technical sectors; this is compared with 43 per cent of those identifying as male who said finding work in their chosen sector is ‘easy’. Responses from our research detailed experiences where homophobic or transphobic discrimination was so severe, the individuals felt little choice other than to leave their posts. “I am often embarrassed by staff who feel that searching people of my own gender must be enjoyable just because I am gay. Although I am gay, searching individuals of my own gender is definitely not a sexually enjoyable experience. I don’t know why some people think it would be.” Eradicating these issues in the workplace doesn’t just deliver huge benefits for the individual, but also for business. In the US, a report by Out Now titled ‘LGBT 2020 – LGBT Diversity Show Me the Business Case ’ found that the US economy could save $9 billion annually if organisations implemented more effective inclusion policies for their LGBTQ+ staff. A large amount of this came from a reduction in absence from work caused by the stress and ill-health associated with LGBTQ+ staff who felt the need to hide their identity at work at the risk of experiencing discrimination. As of 2018, 93% per cent of Fortune 500 companies had non-discrimination policies, which include advice on sexual orientation. 85 percent of these non-discrimination policies have a section dedicated to gender identity. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:Find out more
Do you know the true extent of your contractor workforce? Have you struggled to identify and audit your contractors during the national lockdowns? Is your recruitment process overcomplicated? And are you concerned about the financial and regulatory implications associated with ‘hidden’ contractors? Operations Support Manager Mark Goodwin and Head of Client Engagement Samantha Price discuss the benefits of undergoing a contractor audit to help streamline your business.Businesses with expansive teams spread across multiple locations can find it a struggle to keep on top of the ins and outs of every single contractor on their books. Typically, information on contractors isn’t captured within organisational charts or on central HR streams but, particularly in the wake of Covid-19, and with the upcoming IR35 legislation in mind, businesses have faced increased pressure to identify contractors within their workforce – and they’ve struggled. It’s easier for HR and finance teams to track the job titles, salary bandings, working hours, geographical locations and specific needs of permanent staff – not only is it their responsibility but they hold that data in-house. But for businesses with flexible workforces – a mixture of contractors and full-time employees – there can be a lack of strategy, meaning not all recruitment processes are followed compliantly. Plus, for those who liaise with multiple recruitment agencies to manage labour, the process can become overwhelming and noisy. It presents further risk – financially and legislatively, but also in terms of broader company processes and the candidate experience which, if poor, can both damage a brand’s reputation, visibility, approach to ED&I and commercial benefits. To support businesses in any of these situations, we’ve launched an audit service that we are rolling out to make the recruitment experience more positive for both the candidate and the client. It’s designed to assess attitudes to recruitment, how processes are currently set up, internal and external frustrations and more. We walk ourselves through our clients’ and their candidates’ journeys, using data and qualitative learnings to draw up ways the experiences can be improved, but also assess how cost savings and time efficiencies can be made. What we present back to the client is a report of outcomes which, if amended with some small changes, can create a new, tangible roadmap of success. Typically, an audit will reveal where efficiencies can be made in the following areas: SpendingAn audit is a deep dive into a company’s recruitment spend. We look at their entire population to find out various salaries, if consultants are being hidden as contractors but being paid a higher margin, and more. Then we look at the commercial impact of working with multiple agencies at once. Usually, this means a company is working to varying sets of terms and mark ups, and paying different commissions, so are simply not realising best value. Recruiting the right type of talent can also become a cost drain. Long term, a contractor will cost a business more than a full time employee, but for specialist or short-term projects contractors or even statements of work prove to deliver best value. An audit will show if a company is making the best use of talent and therefore, if the commercial benefits of an existing recruitment model are being achieved. In partnership with our clients, we explore the numerous routes which can be taken to reduce costs, suggesting various recruitment models – a supplier rationalisation, MSP, RPO, hiring manager training or EVP overhaul or consolidation of their recruiter pool being just two options – which could be implemented to save the client what could be hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.Legislation Contractors in highly technical industries are subject to certain regulations, while the introduction of IR35 for the private sector will put extra responsibility on businesses to take account of their contractor workforce, assessing whether they fall in or out of scope. Auditing can make this a more transparent element, firstly in terms of assessing who is supplying your talent; if you do not know this, you cannot be sure of compliance across your supply chain. And secondly, in terms of the candidates themselves; with responsibility falling on employers to know which of their team members are subject to IR35, an audit can help to identify those which might currently fall under the radar but who, without a change to working practices, could lead to costly fines and penalties. As part of the audit process, we work with hiring managers to understand how much they know about legislation, detailing parts of our trail which shows the wider business is failing in its compliance. We can then feedback to clients on the ways they can upskill their team to ensure this becomes a priority, meaning that the business is futureproofed from regulatory risk.Processes An immediate benefit to a company of an audit is that it acts as an independent review of their wider processes, and how they perform in reality, rather than on paper. For example, are communications processes sophisticated enough to ensure every potential contractor is informed they have not been successful in their application? This can often span to more than 12 contractors – is each receiving a timely update with enough clarity on why they did not get the role? Additionally, is there hidden bias in the hiring process? Are the people undertaking interviews sufficiently trained to do so? Also, are there any rogue practices hindering the efficacy of recruitment? Are managers favouring one agency over another? Is more money being paid to a single agency than another without evidence as to why? Auditing can flag all these elements and more. And with some simple changes, the efficiency of an entire business can be improved.Talent Another objective of an audit might be to identify the reasons why a business is struggling to recruit either permanent staff, or contractors with niche talent sets. Data will prove if there is a bias in a technical talent pool for contract roles, which will really hinder a recruitment campaign for a permanent role. Similarly, data will also show how simple changes – such as contributing remuneration, developing cross-sector skills insights and improving work-life balance – can transform a role from being difficult to hire to easier to fill. For example, are you paying below the average industry rate for this role compared to your competitors? Something as simple as a higher salary band for the role might attract better talent and result in a longer-term saving, as you will be able to relinquish several contractors charging a higher day rate.Not all changes should centre on financials, though. Consider this - are you working with the right agencies to secure niche skills? If you are hiring for a specialist campaign and aren’t hitting your recruitment milestones, could the problem be a case of the agencies not having the right talent on their books? As part of your audit, we’ll examine your supply chain as well as your business, to ensure you’re working with the best. There are two ways to work with Morson on a contractor audit; either directly through us – which is preferential for those looking to move to an MSP model with us – or via an external, Morson-approved, independent contractor. We understand how recruitment works in a way that you may not which means we’re best placed to undertake this task, but we work around you, your technology and systems, and in-line with your processes. We will anonymise all data to protect individual parties within your form and utilise your branded communications channels to fully embed within your business. That way, the resulting outcomes benefits you, and only you. Getting your audit right can be a turning point for your business, empowering you to transform processes that make you a more attractive option for candidates, and more accountable at every level of regulation. Get in touch today if you’d like our help to achieve it. Contact Mark Goodwin via email or connect with him on LinkedIn hereContact Samantha Price via email or connect with her on LinkedIn hereFind out more
BAME attrition statistics make it clear there are significant improvements to make before we can call the industry truly inclusive, particularly when considering that attrition costs an average of £30.6k per each employee lost. BAME communities face their own unique disadvantages within society, with a higher than average chance of having experienced poverty and poorer educational outcomes. Despite more BAME people in the UK obtaining degrees, these groups are still most likely to face a job gap compared to white colleagues with the same qualifications. For example, research from the Resolution Foundation found that Black African and Bangladeshi graduates are twice as likely to work in low-paying occupations as Indian, White and Chinese university leavers. As part of our research for our whitepaper 'BAME Representation in the Workplace', we were able to determine whether BAME employees are more likely to leave their roles due to workplace pressures than none-BAME groups, and identify which demographic is more likely to be pinpointed for promotion within a company. Percentage who have left a role earlier than planned due to particular workplace issues/pressures:Percentage who have left a role earlier than planned due to particular workplace issues/pressuresBlack/British Caribbean100%White European39%Asian/British Bangladeshi100%White British24%Black/British African40%White other22%Asian/British Pakistani33%White Irish20%Asian other25%White Gypsy/traveller0%Total average57%Total average21%Percentage encouraged by a current or previous Line Manager to seek a promotion BAME participantsNon BAME participants16%84%This distinct contrast in workplace experiences amongst BAME groups compared to non-BAME groups demonstrates that professional environments could be working to manifest existing social disadvantages amongst minorities. Add to this that almost half (47%) of all respondents have never been managed by someone of BAME background, it is perhaps easier to understand why junior BAME workers are less likely to take senior positions – there simply aren’t the role models in place. These are barriers which must be broken down. Against this backdrop, there is an opportunity to implement processes and ways of working which begin to, instead, drive real social mobility amongst this demographic. Ways of working must be implemented to attract a greater pool of candidates from different ethnic backgrounds to overcome the socio-economic employment barriers that these hard-to-reach groups face. However, this must also be complemented by activity which ensures they are presented with the same promotion opportunities as other colleagues and given such positive workplace experiences that they never feel compelled to leave their role. We are working on setting a pioneering new standard within the industry to create a recruitment service which doesn’t just attract BAME talent, but which supports our clients in achieving optimum working standards, free of discrimination, to ensure talent is retained, nurtured and empowered to progress. Though this whitepaper has already explored the reasons why an employee would leave a role, our research also sought to distinguish exactly what it is that drives a BAME worker towards a job role in the first place to determine when attrition is first triggered. The below figures outline these findings: What attracts you to a role?What makes you leave a role?41% pay levels42% if I was harassed/bullied32% reputation of the organisation I’m working for39% poor company culture 31% progression opportunities 38% if I’d reached burnout (lack of energy, passion or motivation to do the job)29% proximity to home 38% if I experienced discrimination 26% attractiveness of the industry 30% if colleagues treated one another or were treated with a lack of respect19% the opportunity to secure a permanent contract 29% not being made to feel included 17% training on the job 28% if I was found to be paid less than my colleagues17% exciting elements within the role25% if I experienced racism“What these findings demonstrate is that while pay is the main driver for a person to join a business, when they are recruited their priorities actually change. “Instead, they come to value different factors, such as inclusion, respect, motivation and culture. It may be instinctive to base career decisions on elements we can measure, such as income, however, what is clear is that the immeasurable aspects to a job role are much more important in the longer term. “So, while workplaces might use pay as a tactic to attract high skilled talent, those who don’t deliver in a more emotive, personal capacity – in line with a person’s background, demographic and orientation – are at risk of high attrition levels. It is absolutely essential to create pathways for retention so that every sector works to secure its talent long term.” - Sam Price, head of client engagement the Morson Group Of the respondents who took part in the research, 40 per cent were educated to GCSE level, with just 20 per cent possessing A-levels or a degree. While 31 per cent said they had previously considered entering a traditional, professional occupation such as HR, finance or legal, 37 per cent cited ‘being unqualified’ as a factor in holding them back in their career progression. Though this portrays a perception that some technical sectors simply welcome low skilled labour, what is especially important for BAME employees is to be presented with opportunities to continually upskill in a job role, in order to retain their talent. ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations, states that the three ways to retain staff is to focus on ‘retraining’, following these three steps: Ensure that work is 'meaningful' and makes full use of an individual's skills, abilities and potential Keep work interesting and varied, providing training opportunities so that workers feel they are developing and improving Present openings for promotion, or risk driving away workers, especially younger demographics looking for career progression Based on these figures and additional research, we can now provide clients and businesses with a compelling case to better engage with BAME candidates in order to drive upward social mobility for this underrepresented and often discriminated group. However, hiring a diverse workforce is just the starting point. Instead, focus should be on creating environments where each employee can thrive, feel fulfilled and remain with the business long-term, regardless of background. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:Find out more
Roma Das knew from a young age that she wanted a career that involved problem solving. Now aged 54, she’s more than 30 years’ experience in programming and software development, with jobs in industries such as aerospace, telecoms, housing and, most recently, for ITV. She puts her successful career down to an early love of maths, and a dedication to stick to her passion – even if it wasn’t a stereotypical path for a young girl. "I’m very good at maths – it’s logical and involves problem solving and that’s what I excel at. I knew I wanted to take it further and move into software and programming, but it wasn’t a huge area at the time. I found an O-Level in computing and decided to go for it because I thought it would be similar to maths. It turned out to be very different but still tapped into my love of puzzles and trying to find solutions to challenges. I continued my studies, doing courses in maths and computer science and did a module on Oracle SQL. It taught me the basics in programming, and I learnt even more at the University of Salford where I studied for three years, which enabled me to start a career in IT.”Living with dwarfism, Roma had reservations about how she would be treated in the workplace – not just as someone with a disability, but as a female in her field. However, every team she’s worked in has given her the support she needed to thrive. “When I started applying for jobs in IT, I was worried that my dwarfism would be a problem. My view was that, as I’m not customer facing, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I absolutely love talking to customers and I wanted to do more of it. Thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to work with employers who don’t see my disability – or me being a female – as an issue and who have given me the opportunity to be public facing as and when I want to be. What I’ve learnt is that often, the issue is more of a personal one, and it centres on your own apprehension about how you might be perceived. Whereas, in reality, people are accepting and treat you fairly.That’s not to say that other women don’t face challenges or barriers in this industry – they absolutely do. I’ve not experienced it myself, but I have witnessed it, especially for women aiming for senior positions. It’s troubling that it still happens in this day and age when there has been so much progression.”Roma has experience working for companies such as Cable & Wireless, Akcros Chemicals and CSC where she supported such clients as BAE Systems, BNFL to name just two. She has also worked with some of the world’s most innovating software platforms. “I enjoy being given a problem to solve, and either helping to build a new system from scratch or improving an existing system by making it work better, harder or faster. I’ve been integral to some amazing projects for software that’s used around the world, such as a bespoke screening system for flight information that’s used currently in Panama. There’s no satisfaction like seeing your own invention work in the way you wanted it to and making a difference to the way a place functions.“I recently joined ITV where I am currently supporting existing applications and databases that hold a variety of information about ITV programmes – it’s extremely interesting as I can relate my work to the programmes I watch. I’ll also be involved in any future application or database development too.” As she continues to progress in her new role, she wants to share advice with other young women considering a future in a typically male-dominated industry.“Don’t think that because a sector is traditionally male-orientated, that you can’t be part of it. And when you make yourself part of it, stay true to yourself. Many women start thinking like a man in order to become part of the team, but we have such fantastic qualities just as we are, there is no need to change. “I’m a softly spoken person, but I don’t sit back; I approach people as my equal, just as I would expect them to treat me. It’s not a man’s world – it’s anyone’s world, so be yourself and simply by excelling in your job, you’ll play your part to create change for future women who come along after you.” Take a look at our latest opportunities in engineering, manufacturing, construction, professional services and more by visiting our jobs boardFind out more
With top talent in short supply and competition for roles intensifying, it’s crucial that organisations around the globe understand, attract, engage and retain a skilled and diverse workforce. Failing to do so could see a business miss out on great colleagues, enhanced productivity and numerous other proven competitive advantages. In fact, the very survival of many companies and major projects hinges on its ability to create inclusive and equal environments where a diverse team of people can truly thrive and reach their full potential. As talent solutions specialists, we at the Morson Group have witnessed first-hand the benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in business and we work in partnership with clients around the world to challenge traditional stereotypes and misconceptions to lead this conversation. We support our clients’ ED&I commitments, strategies and core values when we are appointed to fulfil their requirement for contingent and temporary workers, by providing them with access to key management information, including spend, worker profiles, numbers and attrition rates, whilst delivering cost efficiencies and attracting talent to essential roles. Together, we are focused on achieving success by supporting clients in consciously building and retaining inclusive teams, recognising the unique value, skills and contribution that every individual brings to its workplace, and encouraging its people to be themselves – whoever they are. Recent data analysis revealed that BAME attrition within technical sectors – aviation, construction, engineering – is double that compared to other industries. BAME workers make up almost 15 per cent (13.8%) of the audited workforce, and reasons for these individuals choosing to leave their roles, the data shows, have included experiences of discrimination. The same was true for other demographics, including LGBTQ+ and those who identify as female. To achieve our mission of creating an entirely equal and diverse workforce, these issues needed addressing. As such, we commissioned further research to truly understand the individual pain points of workers in these industries. We asked them to be frank and completely honest in their feedback so that our clients could quickly implement changes to improve working conditions for all, then develop longer-term strategies in line with people’s issues, challenges and needs, so that within five years, workplaces in these sectors are free from insult, abuse and prejudice. This whitepaper explores those findings. “With 50 years’ experience in recruitment, we enable our clients to tackle their talent needs, with a diverse, equal and inclusive workforce being very much part of this labour strategy. By perfecting diversity-focused talent programmes within our own group of companies, we play a vital part in rolling these initiatives out across our client portfolio – many of whom operate in some of the least diverse sectors. This creates increasingly diverse worker populations that continue to meet business-critical needs and demands, whilst challenging status quos. “Talent is the ultimate criteria for success. We want to ensure we are providing diverse workforces with the opportunities to aim high by working in collaboration with our clients to help create safe, friendly and supportive places to work. Ultimately, providing a working environment and recruitment service which welcomes everyone with open arms – whoever they are and whoever they want to be.” - Adrian Adair, COO at the Morson Group COVID-19 and the BAME demographicThe past 12 months have presented significant challenges for the global population. Never in our lifetime have we all been so vastly affected by the same single source. When very little was known about the Coronavirus – in the first months of 2020, when it initially hit our shores – there was guidance on how different demographics might be affected by the disease, but it mostly centred on age; the older you were, the more susceptible to the illness. However, trends soon began to emerge which demonstrated that the BAME community was at higher risk of infection, serious illness and even fatality. Scientific studies aimed to distinguish whether it was a genetic disposition, but ongoing research revealed that this was largely the case because of the already widely established, deep-rooted inequalities the BAME community faces, and has faced for generations. As Public Health England described it, ‘the social and structural determinants of health disparities.’ Research revealed : The highest age standardised diagnosis rates of COVID-19 per 100,000 population were in people of Black ethnic groups (486 in females and 649 in males) and the lowest were in people of White ethnic groups (220 in females and 224 in males) People of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death when compared to people of White British ethnicity People of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other Asian, Caribbean and Other Black ethnicity had between 10 and 50 per cent higher risk of death when compared to White British Death rates from COVID-19 were higher for Black and Asian ethnic groups when compared to White ethnic groups In relation to the last point, this is the first time that existing, societal inequality has led to a higher death rate amongst the BAME community. The Government’s report stated: “Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups. These inequalities largely replicate existing inequalities in mortality rates in previous years, except for BAME groups, as mortality was previously higher in White ethnic groups.” Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said regarding these findings:“The insights make for humbling reading. The clear message from stakeholders was the requirement for tangible actions, provided at scale and pace, with a commitment to address the underlying factors of inequality.” Because not only was the data highlighting that existing inequality made BAME individuals more susceptible to this deadly disease, but it showed it had the capability to exacerbate inequality even further and drive greater division in our society. Selbie then set out a seven-point action plan, with recommendations on the steps that could be taken to mitigate the risks posed to BAME individuals in the COVID-age. Within this, was guidance for employers which stated that – at a national level – we must: ‘Accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of a worker’s exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with COVID-19.’ It is unknown how long COVID-19 will be present in our lives. Whether a vaccine eradicates its existence is yet to be seen but there are claims among scientists that it is set to be part of our lives forever, even if we can immunise against its most severe effects. This stark reality means employers of BAME individuals have an additional responsibility to ensure workers of this demographic are provided with equal, inclusive places to work where background isn’t a determining factor of their progress and success. When even a virus appears able to discriminate, we must empower BAME colleagues with everything they need to eradicate other inequalities from their lives. A diverse and fair working environment should be a given. Download your copy of the full whitepaper here:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdfFind out more
Whilst the private sector focuses on getting ahead before April, organisations who use labour on the London Underground must be aware of and engage in the forthcoming changes by reviewing and revising their IR35 practices to prevent non-compliance throughout their supply chain. Our latest webinar is designed to support these organisations. It’s important that organisations once again place IR35 at the top of their talent and labour agenda and take the necessary proactive steps to demonstrate reasonable care and mitigate the risk that comes with ongoing non-compliance. Those who fail to do so could face significant financial penalties, as well as the potential legal and reputational damage of not prioritising their greatest asset – their people.To support organisations who use labour on the London Underground our IR35 webinar brings together figureheads from the Morson Group and some of our specialist and hand-picked IR35 partners to help guide you through the steps on how to support your contractor workforce compliantly.During the 60-minute session, the panel will discuss what is changing, your responsibilities as the end client, managing supplier requests to operate under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), as well as the suite of IR35 solutions available, weighing up the advantages and threats of each route in correctly defining the IR35 status of your contractor population.Our panel will also offer their expert advice on how to reshape and perfect your IR35 processes and procedures and ultimately develop a compliance strategy that minimises risk to your operations.In what is an unprecedented opportunity to reset the IR35 agenda on the London Underground, ensure you don’t get left behind. To find out more and to register your free place, click here.Meet our panel...Phil Beardwood, compliance & assurance director at the Morson GroupPhil brings more than 35 years’ industry experience and plays a leading role in providing clients with employment law guidance and IR35 support. He is ultimately responsible for implementation and contractual compliance of all new legislation relating to an employment business.Phil is a Member of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (MREC), a Member of APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) and a Panel Member of the Morson Group’s Legal Forum.Chris Bloor, compliance & assurance manager at Champion ContractorsChris’ 20 years’ experience in contractor payroll and accountancy services has built him extensive knowledge of all industry-related legislation, including IR35, and sees him play a leading role in supporting organisations throughout the supply chain; which, for the last six years, has included the Morson Group and its clients.Amy Jones, associate at Thorntons SolicitorsAmy’s specialist employment law experience honed over the last eight years enables her to provide practical, pragmatic advice in all areas of HR and employment law. She brings significant experience advising private and public sector clients in relation to employment status and navigating the changes to off-payroll working.We understand that preparing for IR35 legislation in today’s climate is anything but normal and we're on hand to help. Register for our latest webinar or access our support resources on our dedicated IR35 websiteFind out more
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 email@example.comFind out more
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
Preparing for the reforms to IR35 legislation in the recent climate is anything but normal, as private sector organisations tackle the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic.Despite Government delaying the original April 2020 deadline by 12 months to give additional time to prepare, the likelihood is that many businesses have spent the last few quarters dealing with the after-effects of the virus and adapting their operations and labour strategies accordingly.But with just a month to go, organisations must once again place IR35 at the top of their talent agenda and begin proactive steps to mitigate the risk that the upcoming reforms bring. Those who fail to do so could face significant financial penalties, as well as the potential legal and reputational damage of not prioritising your greatest asset – your people.Many are starting their IR35 preparations completely afresh to reflect their current talent strategies and future demands. Whatever the stage of your IR35 readiness, the majority of cases will include a greater reliance on personal service companies (PSCs) as a way to benefit from the flexibility and other advantages of leveraging a contingent talent pool.In the March 2021 budget, reference was made to the introduction of a targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule (TAAR) allowing HMRC to track down schemes designed to get contractors operating falsely outside IR35. This is good news for the risk-averse and the compliant, but bad news for those trying to sell false workarounds. The importance of being compliant is all the more evident than ever.As experts in the talent landscape, our IR35 webinar series bought together figureheads from the Morson Group and some of our specialist and hand-picked IR35 partners to help guide you through the steps on how to support your contractor workforce compliantly.During the 60-minute sessions, the panel discussed what is changing, your responsibilities as the client, as well as the suite of IR35 solutions that businesses can choose to adopt; weighing up the advantages and threats of each route incorrectly defining the IR35 status of your contractor population.Our panel offered their expert advice on how to shape and perfect your IR35 processes and procedures and ultimately develop a bespoke compliance strategy that minimises risk to your operations.Watch the webinar below:Our Expert Panel:Phil Beardwood, compliance & assurance director at the Morson GroupPhil brings more than 35 years’ industry experience and plays a leading role in providing clients with employment law guidance and IR35 support. He is ultimately responsible for implementation and contractual compliance of all new legislation relating to an employment business.Phil is a Member of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (MREC), a Member of APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) and a Panel Member of the Morson Group’s Legal Forum.Chris Bloor, compliance & assurance manager at Champion Contractors Chris’ 20 years’ experience in contractor payroll and accountancy services has built him extensive knowledge of all industry-related legislation, including IR35, and sees him play a leading role in supporting organisations throughout the supply chain; which, for the last six years, has included the Morson Group and its clients.Amy Jones, associate at Thorntons SolicitorsAmy’s specialist employment law experience honed over the last eight years enables her to provide practical, pragmatic advice in all areas of HR and employment law. She brings significant experience advising private and public sector clients in relation to employment status and navigating the changes to off-payroll working.Help us get you ahead of IR35. Visit our dedicated hub, featuring help and advice for candidates and clients alike hereFind out more