Ask the Adviser: Increasing contractor volumes

Over 90% of surveyed APSCo Members will be looking to increase their contractor volumes within the next 12 months. What advice can you offer to these companies?

My first piece of advice to agencies would be to get cosy with compliance because it’s going to become your best friend! Compliance may not be the “life of the party” friend, but it will protect (and potentially rescue) you from any legal pickles.

There are two main categories to get comfortable with: business compliance and engagement compliance.

Business compliance includes labour hire licensing, Payroll Tax (PRT) provisions (particularly those specific to the labour hire industry) and Super Guarantee Levy management.

Labour hire licenses are currently required in Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia and the respective authorities treat breaches very seriously.

PRT includes both employee and contractor remuneration: salary, allowances, commissions, bonuses, and pre-tax superannuation guarantee payments. PRT is state-governed and if a labour hire chain is involved, business liability rules can vary in the engagement.

When it comes to engagements, it’s important to understand the legal nuances of engagement structures and the crucial difference between contractors and employees.

The rise of the gig economy and the recent inquiries into sham contracting has muddied the waters of contract engagement.

Workers Compensation and work health and safety frameworks protect your agency, end-client, and the worker, so ensure those are air-tight when engaging contractors and employees. Business insurances are essential for risk management when supplying labour, such as public liability and professional indemnity.

All compliance considerations differ by state and country, so be sure to get to grips with the local legislation of where your workforce is based.

Beyond compliance, efficient contractor management processes will provide a seamless experience for clients and contractors.

Speed-of-delivery and reliable customer service is imperative for brand reputation and subsequent repeat business in the future.

Taking as many processes online as possible, such as timesheets, contracts, onboarding, and payroll, will enhance your service delivery.

If your business doesn’t have the adequate financial backing, outsourced payroll financing is an effective way to make payments on time. There you have it – contractor compliance in a nutshell!

Check out the full issue of Recruitment & Co for more useful recruitment insights.

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