IR35 – Recruiters Respond to HMRC Updates

The latest IR35 amends will give HMRC the right to seek unpaid tax and NI from incorrectly categorised contractors from the end-client – if an intermediary agency is unable to pay. Whilst this in theory offers some comfort and protection to agencies concerned mistakes could force financial ruin, some larger recruiters are concerned that small agencies could profit from non-compliance safe in the knowledge the end client is ultimately financially liable.

At Carrington West we have been operating pursuant to IR35 with our public sector clients for some time. Carrington West’s MD, James Fernandes says of the latest amends,

“Non-compliance has never been an option and serves no benefit to us, our contractors or our clients. It is far more likely that the end-clients will look to mitigate any risk of liability by tightening their talent supply chain, ensuring measures are put into place before they use our services. The result will be to force recruiters to supply evidence that they are accurately following the regulations when signing up contractors.”

This certainly seems to have been the case in Carrington West’s experience with public sector clients over the past three years. After an initial period of adjustment, James reflects,

“When IR35 was introduced for public sector contractors in 2017, it was widely reported that there was a mass exodus of contract workers looking for work elsewhere. It was true that many of our risk adverse public sector clients knee jerked by making blanket decisions to not engage contractors at all. However, the potential resultant lack of supply of talent to complete vital infrastructure projects meant for many this was not a sustainable model going forward. What we have seen to some extent, is major organisations switch to a more sustainable individual assessment model.

Perhaps most importantly, processes have been put in place that require assessments to be as accurate and rigorous as possible and contracts are negotiated to ensure that a worker falls outside of IR35 where there is a genuine need for that role to be fulfilled by a contractor.”

Whatever amendments are made over the coming weeks leading up to April 2020, IR35 is here to stay. Carrington West’s experience in the public sector has placed us in the unique position of already having the expertise and capabilities to guide contractors and clients through the changes and build a robust framework that mitigates risk whilst maximises access to much needed talent in the built environment sector.

James concludes by noting,

“Any recruiter that puts their head in the sand over IR35 is being very short sighted. The temporary and contract work force in all sectors in increasing as many people chose to work in more flexible or varied roles. By not being on board with IR35 or any future regulations that are bound to be introduced, recruiters will find themselves outside of the supply chain.”

Carrington West are thrilled to announce we have won “Best Company To Work For (Up To 150 Employees)” in the prestigious Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP) Awards 2019.

The IRP awards celebrate professional excellence and the inspirational work carried out by the recruitment industry’s brightest stars. In all, ninety-three outstanding individuals and businesses were shortlisted across eighteen different categories such as newcomer of the year and best company to work for. Congratulations to two of our award nominated consultants – Krishan Adams & Ilya Donets MSc GIS for all of their continuous hard work over the years. Also congratulations to our award nominated Back Office Team – Elise Sherwin, Abby Bissett, Lucy Rimmer – Assoc CIPD, Ella Razzell, Lauren Rose, Chloe Revy and Grace Wearn for all of their hard work behind the scenes for the business. Lastly, we’d like to thank all of our staff, clients and candidates for all of your continued support over the years and forthcoming. We are all truly humbled. Thank you – All at Carrington West. 

Solent 250 Listing – Carrington West

We are proud to announce that Carrington West have once again been featured in the latest Solent 250 Listing!


Simon Gardiner, Director said, “we are delighted to once again be included in the Solent 250, It gives us an opportunity to continue to learn and develop by rubbing shoulders with some of the largest and most prestigious companies in our region. It certainly gives everyone here a great sense of pride to see how far we have come from our humble beginnings only a few short years ago. We put our two customers, the client and the candidate at the very centre of everything we do, and this has allowed us to growth rapidly whilst maintaining our quality of service”.


Business Magazine’s Solent 250 celebrates the top private independent companies in the region by turnover. The prestigious listing acts as a barometer of the region’s economic performance. The 250 companies contribute significantly to the UK’s GDP – and many are the leading players globally in their sector.

New Offices!!

“The UK’s Best Recruitment Company to Work For” is Expanding … 3 New Office Locations!

Carrington West are an award-winning recruitment agency specialising within the Built Environment sector covering Water, Buildings, Utilities, Town Planning, Highways and Rail.

Currently with a record number of temporary contractors across the Public and Private sectors and the most permanent placements made to date we are now looking to increase our headcount from 55 to over 75 in the next 12 months alone.

As a result of this continued growth Carrington West are pleased to announce the opening of 3 further offices across the UK in order to partner our clients more closely within our specialist areas. As such we now have our Head Office in Portsmouth followed by three further offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

If any clients within the Built Environment sector working in these locations are looking for a specialist recruitment agency, please do contact us on our office numbers below to discuss your requirements:

Head Office – Lakeside 1000, North Harbour, Western Rd, Portsmouth, PO6 3EN Tel: 02393 876 000

London Office – 5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LG Tel: 0207 406 7582

Manchester Office – 76 King Street, Manchester, M2 4NH Tel: 0161 817 5023

Birmingham Office – The Colmore Building, 20 Colmore Circus, Queensway, Birmingham B4 6AT Tel: 0121 262 4156

Scottish Water completes beach pipe project

Scottish Water has completed a £500,000 scheme to help improve the local wastewater network and protect the natural environment at Limekilns beach, near the Firth of Forth.

The work involved replacing a 265-metre long cast iron outfall pipe on Limekilns beach along with building 45 new concrete supports to hold it above the seabed.

All the piping was covered with an extra durable weather-proof wrap given its location.

Work began in June and the project has now finished two weeks ahead of schedule.

The work was delivered by partners amey Black & Veatch (aBV) during summer to protect winter wading birds.

Scott Fraser, regional communities manager at Scottish Water, said: “This essential work was carried out to upgrade the old wastewater pipe at Limekilns which was of an age it had to be replaced.

“While most of the work took place on the beach we have had some traffic management and a cabin on site and we thank the people of Limekilns for their patience while we were in the area.”

While at the site, the project team from aBV helped members of Limekilns and Charlestown Floral Display Group repair flower displays at the village’s pier, which were totally destroyed after an oil spill at the beach earlier in the year.

Fiona Philp, a volunteer of the group, said: “The team helped in a number of ways including laying gravel and pebbles, lifting out tree stumps, planted bushes and helping transport sea cobbles from Charlestown.

“They really helped our wee village come back from an environmental disaster, their help was invaluable and they were absolute gems.”

She said judges from Beautiful Fife were “very impressed” with the new floral arrangements which they came to judge last month and are hopeful the village could win an award this year.

The team at aBV also donated £200 to the Charleston Floral Display Group to be used to pay for winter flowering bulbs and new flower pots. It will also donate £300 to the Limekilns to Charlestown & Pattiesmuir Gala group.

Charlestown, Limekilns and Pattiesmuir Community Council also praised the team’s work. Secretary Martin Callanan said: “Everyone was impressed with the hard work, provision of information, and tidiness of the works. The extra work on the flower beds was highly appreciated.”

Network Rail awards final west London station upgrade contracts for Crossrail

Network Rail has awarded the final contracts for upgrades to stations in west London as part of the delayed flagship Crossrail project.

The upgraded stations will benefit from improved passenger flow, new ticket halls and enhanced accessibility with lifts and footbridges, as well as step free access in order to prepare the stations for a boost in passenger numbers when Crossrail fully opens.

Work at West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington and Southall will be carried out by Hochtief whilst Graham will undertake the work at Acton Main Line, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway.


Mark Wild, Crossrail’s chief executive, said: “London needs the Elizabeth Line completed as quickly as possible and brought into service for passengers.

“It is very encouraging that Network Rail are now able to award these remaining station contracts which form an important part of their remaining work on the Crossrail project.

“These station upgrades are vital to supporting the increased numbers of passengers who will use these stations once the Elizabeth Line is fully open.”

Network Rail delivered the enabling works for the new station buildings by installing the foundations and steel frames last year, and the new ticket halls and step free access will be completed by December 2020.

Crisis-hit Crossrail, which was originally due to open in 2018, has been hit by a number of delays and bailouts, but last month its bosses revealed that the Elizabeth Line would be open by March 2021 at the latest.

Network Rail’s project director Dave Corkett said the upgrades will be an important element of its work on the Crossrail project, and said the contract will allow it and the new contractors to “deliver these important station upgrades that are so eagerly awaited by local communities in west London.”

Lawrence Jackson, managing director of Hochtief, said it was looking forward to delivering the upgrade works with minimal disruption, whilst Graham rail director Jonny Kerr said it was “delighted to be appointed to this nationally important infrastructure project.”

For more articles like this, please visit Rail Technology Magazine.

Ringway replaced by Kier on £210m contract

Thames Water tenders £15m-plus laboratory services framework contract

Thames Water has gone out to tender with a framework contract for goods on the laboratory supplies framework worth an estimated £15.92 million in total.

The water company intends to award 1 or more agreements for goods on the framework which will apply across both water and wastewater, either directly or on its behalf by its contractors.

The framework is being tendered in the following Lots:

  • Lot 1 –  Supply of Instrument Parts
  • Lot 2 – Supply of Consumables and General Lab Equipment
  • Lot 3 – Standards
  • Lot 4 – Supply of Sampling Bottles
  • Lot 5 – Microbiology — Media testing and Reference Materials
  • Lot 6 – Water Sampling and Testing Equipment: E.coli and Coliforms and Cryptospordium.

Thames Water envisages that the agreement will be awarded for an initial term of 5 years with options to extend up to a maximum duration of 8 years.

The utility is looking to appoint up to ten suppliers to the framework agreement – all suppliers must complete a pre-qualification questionnaire. 

The world’s first ethical guidelines for driverless cars

Humans before animals and property. No discrimination as to who should survive. Safeguards against malicious hacking.

These are just some of the world-first ethical rules being implemented in Germany regarding how autonomous vehicles are to be programmed.

The federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt presented a report on automated driving to Germany’s cabinet last month. The report is the work of an Ethics Commission on Automated Driving, an expert panel of scientists and legal experts.

The report notes the technological advances being made to increase automation in cars to make them safer and reduce accidents, but it adds:

“Nevertheless, at the level of what is technologically possible today, it will not be possible to prevent accidents completely. This makes it essential that decisions be taken when programming the software of conditionally and highly automated driving systems.”

The report lists 20 guidelines for the motor industry to consider in the development of any automated driving systems. The minister says that cabinet has adopted the guidelines, making it the first government in the world to do so.

The report allows German car makers to maintain their technological lead, setting a strong example for the rest of the world to follow.

Automated driving is safer

The moral foundation of the report is simple – since self-driving vehicles will cause fewer human deaths and injuries, there is a moral imperative to use such systems since governments have a duty of care for their citizens.

So what are some of the situations the report considers?

If an accident cannot be avoided, the report say human safety must take precedence over animals and property. The software must try to avoid a collision altogether, but if that’s not possible, it should take the action that does least harm to people.

The report also recognises that some decisions could be too morally ambiguous for the software to resolve.

In these cases, the ultimate decision and responsibility, at least for now, must be with the human sitting in the driver’s seat, as control is swiftly transferred to them. If they fail to act, the vehicle simply tries to stop. In the near future, as capability improves, vehicles might well become fully autonomous.

It’s acknowledged that no system is perfect. If harmful outcomes cannot be reduced to zero, at least it will be below the current human level.

If a collision is unavoidable, the report say systems must aim for harm minimisation. There must be no discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, physical attributes or anything else of any potential accident victim.

All humans are considered equal for the purposes of harm minimisation.

This makes the famed Trolley Dilemma irrelevant in as much as the software is not allowed to prioritise an individual’s relative worth.

Who is in control?

The report mentions the possibility of fully autonomous systems, but recognises that the technology is not yet capable of solving tricky “dilemma situations” in which the vehicle has to decide between the lesser of two evils. As the technology becomes sufficiently mature, full autonomy will be possible.

According to the report, at all times it must be known who is driving – human or computer. Perhaps by means of scanning their license, everyone who drives a vehicle must first be validated as being legally qualified to drive that class of vehicle.

The vehicle should have an aviation-style “Black Box” that continuously records events, including who or what is in control at any given time.

In the event of an accident involving an autonomous vehicle, an investigation should be carried out by an independent federal agency to determine liability.

The driver of a vehicle retains their rights over the personal information collected from that vehicle. Use of this data by third parties must be with the owner’s informed consent and with no harm resulting.

The threat of malicious hacking any autonomous driving system must be mitigated by effective safeguards. Software should be designed with a level of security that makes malicious hacking exceedingly unlikely.

As for the set-up of a vehicle’s controls, they must remain ergonomically optimal for human use, as they are in a conventional car.

The vehicle can react autonomously in an emergency, but the human may take over in morally ambiguous situations. The controls should be designed to smoothly and quickly make the transfer.

The report says the public must be made aware of the principles upon which autonomous vehicles operate, including the rationale behind any of those principles. This should be incorporated into school curriculums so that people understand both the how and why of autonomous vehicles.

A good start, but a work-in-progress

The guidelines will be reviewed after two years of use. Doubtless there will be fine tuning in the light of experience, in this the first of many reviews in the years and decades to come.

The guidelines are solidly reasoned and comprehensive enough to provide a legal basis for German car-makers to move forward with their plans.

Since other countries appear to have taken a wait and see position on such legislation, they may well decide to follow Germany’s example, and not for the first time. This would be no bad thing, since a piecemeal approach from one country to the next would be in no-one’s interests. 

Order issued for land purchase in and around Newport Docks and Pill area for M4 relief road