BBC clampdown on contractors
The Daily Mail reports that the BBC is set to implement a new ’employment test’ within weeks, in an attempt to reduce the number of individuals who work for the Corporation via their own limited companies.
Although the use of limited companies, and freelancers in general, is widespread in ‘off air’ activities, it is thought that the new clampdown is aimed at ‘on air’ talent, such as presenting staff (around 125 presenters currently work via their own personal service companies).
Following a report by the Public Accounts Committee and a subsequent internal audit, it was concluded that although the BBC had not promoted the use of ‘tax avoidance’ payment structures, the way in which it paid staff remained ‘inconsistent’.
The BBC has been working with HMRC to create a new employment test to establish whether a new hire can be taken on as a ‘freelancer’, or as a traditional ’employee’.
Read more here
How easy is it to fool Companies House?
A story in he Mirror this week highlights how easy it is for fraudsters to set up a limited company using bogus identity information.
The owner of a company formations company, Kevin Brewer, set up a company ‘John Vincent Cable Services Limited’, with the Business Secretary listed as its director.
Brewer then wrote to Vince Cable to highlight how a lack of identity checks meant that anyone could register a company directly via Companies House and start trading in a fraudulent manner.
Before it was possible to incorporate a company directly via the web, company formation services would carry out money laundering checks to validate the identities of would-be directors.
You can read more here.
OFT launches study into provision of IT to public sector
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to look into the amount of competition that exists between companies that provide IT goods and services to public sector organisations.
Concerns exist that some businesses seem to have large a large share of contracts in certain areas, and that there are ‘high barriers to entry and expansion’ – especially for small and micro IT businesses seeking to supply the public sector.More details here.
Last chance to vote for Smarta 100 awards
Voting for the Top 100 most innovative, and original small businesses is underway – the deadline for entries is 1st November at 5pm.The winning business in each category will win £1000, and the overall winner will net £10,000.For more information, and to take part in the vote, click here.
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