Started trading with Orbital Management Services Ltd. in November at offices on Eastgate, Barnsley, specifically targeting business within the construction recruitment sector. The ‘credit crunch’ recession had just started to impact the economy. 1 phone line, 2 members of staff.
Formed Orbital Management Systems Ltd. for agencies that wanted a ‘Net’ CIS status for cashflow purposes. 3 members of staff, paying 150 self-employed workers on construction assignments. £1m turnover.
Orbital Umbrella Ltd. set up in November specifically to add an Umbrella PAYE option for workers who prefer PAYE and want to claim weekly expenses, besides our self-employed model. £4.2m turnover.
Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) implemented in the UK to give fairer treatment to agency workers who have been on the same assignment for 12 weeks. £7m turnover.
£16m combined turnover, still mainly achieved within the temporary construction market, reaching 1,000 workers paid per week. 5 members of staff.
Passed an on-site Employer Compliance Review from HMRC and gained an expenses dispensation for reimbursement of umbrella PAYE expense claims.
Moved our individual companies into a group structure – the Orbital Payroll Group was born.
First spoke with Professional Passport about review and audit of our umbrella PAYE model.
Our first industry related accreditation/affiliations – Lawspeed’s SPA and ARC.
SDC – Supervision, Direction and Control (or the right of) is the new phrase doing the rounds as part of the ‘Onshore Intermediaries Legislation’ or ‘Agency Legislation’.
Upgraded to Merit Software to handle the weekly payroll process. Merit is a bespoke ‘umbrella/contractor’ pay system designed to pay large numbers more quickly with less manual process.
Impact of the ‘Agency legislation 2014’ which increases the risk for agencies contracting with sole traders (the SDC test), is now being seen with more workers going Umbrella PAYE or Ltd. Co. Reporting obligations on pay models are now a requirement per quarter.
Passed the Professional Passport audit and gained our ‘badges’. The PP audit is the leading Umbrella company accreditation. We are also founder members of the trade body, PRISM.
This had a massive effect on everyone’s lives and daily routines with town centre’s and cities deserted, likewise the economy taking a colossal hit because most people couldn’t go to work.
Social distancing and mask wearing became the norm, there were many covid-related deaths and the true cost will not be known for many years.
Business did bounce back in some industries by late summer, but winter time meant that there were further restrictions. We were one of the lucky ones and turnover for the year stayed similar to 2019 due to the sectors we specialise in. On a lighter note we also won our second ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ accolade.
Business overall took a back seat as everyone got to grips with the ‘new normal’ and handled their own personal situations of not seeing loved ones or being able to live a normal life.
Business wise it was a very busy year for us, with almost too much going off! There was a rush at the start of the year as the delayed changes to the IR35 (private sector) rules finally came into play which meant a lot of confused contractors not knowing what the best pay model option was for them coupled with the fact that whichever way they now went, it might not be as tax efficient.
We also looked at improving our internal logistics by introducing a new CRM with a quicker registration/sign-up process.
Tired of using clunky, slow, running on servers and outdated tech meant we had to move on from Merit, which had served us well from 2015 and into the here and now!
The choice we made was Octopaye – genuine cloud-based payroll software that allows us to scale, develop API links with other apps. and have the ability to be agile when adapting new features.
Workers paid numbers hit a new weekly peak of 4,700+ as life finally felt that it was getting back to normal.
This economic downturn was not helped by some strange policies in Downing Street by the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, who after replacing Boris Johnson, was herself side-lined for Rishi Sunak. 3 in one year!
Back in Barnsley – we moved to a new open-plan office across the road from DMC01, into DMC02. This was a slight reduction on floor space but this suited us better due to more hybrid working patterns of our staff.
We also increased headcount in our finance and payroll teams and despite numbers consistent best, we have big plans in place to increase our service offerings and the technology we use going into next year.