Revenue and Customs: Agency Workers

Treasury written question – answered on 5th October 2020.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Conservative, Hemel Hempstead

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) proportion of total staff engaged by HMRC via an umbrella company or similar in an (i) individual and (ii) limited company capacity for each year since December 2010 to date; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

In accordance with departmental retention policy, and in preparation to ensure compliance with the 2017 reforms to the off-payroll working rules, HMRC only hold a complete central record of departmental engagements from 2016 to present.

With contingent staff there is always at least one agency between HMRC and the individual contractor, although in practice this contract may be further sub-contracted, so that there are multiple agencies between the department and the contractor themselves.

Umbrella companies are known to be used by off-payroll workers engaged via an intermediary and records show this to be the case for 317 or 17% of total engagements for which records are held.

HMRC would hold a contractual relationship with either the recruitment agency or service provider rather than any umbrella company and are not involved in the payment arrangements of individual contractors.

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