Protect your business with forest

We’re recruitment sector experts. We’re also a qualified accounting firm and FCA regulated financial advice firm, so compliance is key for us. The world around recruiters is constantly changing – new legislation is introduced at an increasing rate, and keeping pace is crucial. By partnering with us you gain access to experts who can help you educate your own clients. 

We provide free initial advice and undertake reviews on any of the below, and more. Would you pass an audit? Speak with us today to learn how we’ll help you earn smarter, live better.


The AWR (Agency Worker’s Regulations) were introduced in late 2011.  The intention of this piece of legislation is to ensure that agency workers are given the same rights and pay as their directly employed, permanent counterpart (called a comparator).  Any business using a supply of agency workers needs to secure their supply chain, because all parties are held equally liable in the event of a claim.

This means that through no fault or wrong-doing of your own, you can wind up with hefty fines for non-compliance.  A supplier to your supplier may operate outside the rules, and you’ll be judged as equally at fault.  Forest can help secure your supply chain and provide a compliant solution.


Real Time Information (RTI) was introduced early 2013. To help our clients keep ahead of the curve,  forest was part of a pilot scheme in conjunction with HMRC to trial the new system. RTI was a change away form the old method of reporting PAYE and NIC’s to HMRC.  Instead of filing a periodic return, now every employer uses RTI to file real time details on all PAYE payments.  This not only adds clarity and speeds up a number of processes, but it was also put in place to start laying the ground work for the pensions changes which followed soon after.

Offshore intermediaries act

The offshore intermediaries act came in to force in April 2014.  With this piece of legislation HMRC are attempting to ensure that employer’s NI is paid in full, for all workers in the UK.  Agencies and umbrellas have in the past been able to make a saving on this tax, by utilising international or offshore structures.  In the current climate of austerity, HMRC are trying to ensure that taxes and NIC’s are paid in full.

The legislation is very broad, meaning companies won’t be able to find a way to frustrate the new rules.

NIC’s (including the employer’s portion) will be due in full from April 2014.  If the offshore intermediary doesn’t pay, then HMRC will transfer the debt onshore to the ‘relevant party’ (the UK recruiter).  If the recruiter fails to pay, the debt will be passed further up the chain to the end user of the labour (the recruiter’s clients).

As well as the transfer of debt provisions, HMRC are discussing an onerous reporting requirement.  Any UK recruiter using an offshore or international umbrella will need to report to HMRC quarterly, outlining the following:

  • The name of the candidate
  • The NI number of the candidate
  • The length of  the assignment
  • The details of the offshore intermediary making the payment

HMRC have made a commitment that the rules will not be applied retrospectively.

Onshore intermediaries act

The handsome cousin of the offshore act. This piece of legislation is subtitled ‘targeting false self employment’ and it does what it says on the tin. HMRC estimated as many as hundreds of thousands of workers were incorrectly classed as self employed, so this piece of legislation sought to bring those workers back in line with the PAYE regime. Key to all this was HMRC’s new phrase ‘supervision, direction and control’. Really, this is a strengthening of a very longstanding (and famously grey) piece of legislation – IR35




Please note, some of the services offered are separate to our relationship with Intrinsic and the FCA. The services which are regulated by the FCA are Insurance, Pensions and Investments, Intrinsic bear no responsibility for the other services offered on this site.