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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employment maintenance: employment agencies: agency schemes - initial meeting (Action Guide)

To prepare for a meeting with an agency, follow steps 1 - 8 below.


1. Staff who work on Employment Maintenance are not expected to arrange meetings with problematic agency employers, although you have a vital role in the initial detection of these agencies.
2. The guidance given below is intended for the appropriate officer.

The guide is presented as follows

  Step 1
  Steps 2 - 3
  Steps 4 - 7
  Step 8

Initial contact

1. When a meeting has been agreed to be beneficial to both parties
  * Decide on the key participants and involve Assistant Officer Grade staff who in day to day work encounter problematic agency employers
  * Include an experienced minute taker or ask the Agency if they wish to provide this facility. Minutes must be copied and agreed by both parties
  * Contact the agency to arrange a mutually convenient date, time and location


| 2. | Before the meeting takes place | || |   | * Discuss areas where the agency is failing to comply and / or creating operational difficulties | |   | * Prepare evidence of problem areas, for example failing to provide NINOs | |   | * Research the options available to resolve these difficulties, considering the resources available and the agency’s expected reaction | |   | * Nominate officer(s) to facilitate introductions and any follow up actions | |   | * Define each participants role, for example you may appoint one spokesperson or decide that each participant will raise specific areas for discussion | | 3. | Communication is a two way process and the agency may have grievances regarding HMRC policy. Be prepared to | |   | * Listen to employer problems | |   | * Understand their viewpoint
And | |   | * Accommodate their needs where possible |

Common problems

  Note: Steps 4 - 7 are only suggestions and pointers. You may devise solutions which are appropriate to local requirements, but do not compromise the individual or impact on other Processing Offices.
  4. ### NINOs
    Lack of NINOs is a common occurrence in agency cases. Below are some suggestions and actions you may wish to take
    * Explain to the agency that without a NINO the entire records database (NPS currently holds eighty million records, which includes 3.5 million Temporary Reference Numbers) has to be searched which delays the processing of starter and leaver notifications
    * Produce specific evidence if you have been record keeping to highlight the scale of the problem
    * Establish what action the agency takes to obtain NINOs
  5. ### Starter forms
    * Tell the agency to follow the guidance at GOV.UK/HMRC homepage Operating PAYE in real time. Forms P45 Part 3 and P46 or Full Payment Submission (FPS) starter information should only being submitted when the first payment is made and not when the individual first registers
    * You may consider that a short delay of (say) up to a week is acceptable in submitting forms P45 Part 3 and P46 if this enables the correct NINO to be provided. If you feel this is an acceptable way to handle your particular problem, discuss an appropriate action with your employer
  6. ### Leaver forms
    * Suggest they review the staff on their books at regular intervals, as they must submit a P45 Part 1 or FPS leaver information where no payments have been made for the last three months
    * Explain that doing this should result in a reduction in queries from the Processing Office
  7. ### Form P625
    * Check that the agency is supplying form P625 ‘Tax Tips for Temps’ to individuals when they first register. If not, ask if they are prepared to issue the form, explaining the benefits in doing so and arrange for adequate stocks to be sent if they agree

Follow up action

| 8. | Follow up action is essential in maintaining a good relationship. The nominated person should | || |   | * Deal with any queries arising from the minutes of the meeting from either party | |   | * Check that any action on an individual is being actively pursued | |   | * Review any other issues
And if necessary | |   | * Arrange any subsequent meetings either internally or with the agency | |   | Note: Further regular monitoring and evaluation is essential to maintain effective communication, liaison and education. Education should be a continuous process given the staff changes in both Processing Offices and employer payroll departments. |