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CEO Blog

FCSA Forum 2023: Strength in Community and a brighter future

I recently had the pleasure of hosting the inaugural FCSA Forum, which took place on Tuesday the 11th of July in Manchester. It was a great day, with just shy of 200 attendees as well as our sponsors: My Digital, Brabners, JMW Solicitors, JA, FreeAgent, Credas, MitiGo, TrustID, Caunce O’Hara, Remus Rewards, Qdos and Marsh Commercial attending. It was a great experience to network with our members and attendees and have productive conversations about our sector. I’ve always been passionate about our industry, and this sector in particular, having been a contractor for many years myself. The hard work of contractors and freelancers should not go unnoticed, and as an organization, I am proud of the diligent work put in by both the FCSA team and our members to elevate industry standards and encourage best practices. Additionally, as we are committed to advocating for the industry as a whole, I was delighted to see so many people sharing our passion. We saw insightful speeches from My Digital, Mitigo, Brabners, Credas, Freeagent, Carl Reader, JWM Solicitors, JA, FCSA’s Chair James Burrows and Tim Harrison on behalf of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME). We also hosted roundtable discussions and had ...
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Speakers

Dan is the Chief Operating Officer at My Digital, where he leads the operations and development of the entire suite of software products. With over 8 years of experience in building cutting-edge products within the payroll and accounting space, Dan possesses a unique expertise in leveraging technology to drive innovation and enhance efficiency.

Daniel Moss
COO at My Digital

As Credas’ Head of Governance, Louis is responsible for ensuring Credas’ products are kept up-to-date with the latest regulatory requirements and Government guidance. Prior to joining Credas, Louis worked in Connells’ Financial Crime Prevention team for over 3 years and is vastly experienced in helping businesses stay compliant.

Louis Lancaster
Risk and Compliance Manager

With over 20 years of experience working within the financial sector, Rhian has helped businesses of all sizes manage their risks, minimise fraud and tackle financial crime. As Credas’ Director of Sales, she is responsible for ensuring that their client’s utilise their full offering and are aware of the ever-changing risk landscape. Previous to Credas, Rhian was the UK Sales Director for Creditsafe and played a pivotal role in helping the company grow internationally.

Rhian Del-Valle
Director of Sales

Margaret Beels’ career began in the Department of Energy. She played a key role in delivering the

privatisation of the electricity industry in England and Wales. Margaret spent 4 years running the

electricity market before joining British Gas as Head of Compliance.

Margaret became Chair of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) in July 2011. She was much

involved in GLA’s move from being sponsored by Defra to the Home Office and then, in the

transformation of the GLA into the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) with the

expansion of its powers to include the investigation, across the whole labour market, into forced and

compulsory labour.

Margaret was awarded an OBE in the New Years’ Honours in 2020 for services to modern slavery

and labour exploitation.

Margaret was appointed Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) on 22 November 2021. The

Director of Labour Market Enforcement is responsible for setting strategic priorities for the following

enforcement bodies:

· Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS)

· Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)

· HMRC National Minimum Wage (HMRC-NMW)

The strategy is based on risk modelling and extensive consultation with external stakeholders.

Margaret Beels
Director of Labour Market Enforcement

James Collings has been freelancing since 1998, joining the fight against IR35 early on, and becoming an active member of IPSE from 2004.  He joined the Consultative Council in 2007, the IPSE Board in 2008, and served 3 years as Chairman stepping down in 2018.  

James worked on the Office of Tax Simplification Consultative Committee and HM Treasury’s PAYE/NICS working group, while also lobbying politicians from all parties to represent the UK’s freelancers. 

James has spoken internationally of the challenges facing the UK’s flexible workforce and helped steer the research of a think-tank into self-employment .  Throughout this time James has continued to work in performance management of IT systems for leading blue-chip companies. James’ career in the IT industry has spanned over 30 years, involving roles in IT support, marketing, and software sales.

James Collings
Member of FCSA IAP

Rebecca Seeley Harris is one of the few people in the UK who specialises solely on employment status. Specialising in this area since the inception of the tax initiative IR35, some 20 years ago, Rebecca deals with all things to do with employment status such as IR35, off-payroll working, self-employment, s.44 ITEPA – agency tax legislation, PSCs, Office-holders, etc. 

Rebecca was awarded the Nigel Clothier Award for Special Contribution to University Tax 2021 and was shortlisted for the Special Contribution to Taxation in the Taxation Awards 2021.

s It, The Startup Coach and The Franchising Handbook. He features regularly in the national press and on stage, and regularly provides content through his social media channels under the handle @CarlReader. He has helped thousands of business owners either start or grow their business by helping them understand that business isn't difficult, in language an eight year old can understand.

Rebecca Seeley Harris
Member of FCSA IAP
Carl Reader is a serial entrepreneur, chairman of business advisory firm d&t, and author of Boss It, The Startup Coach and The Franchising Handbook. He features regularly in the national press and on stage, and regularly provides content through his social media channels under the handle @CarlReader. He has helped thousands of business owners either start or grow their business by helping them understand that business isn't difficult, in language an eight year old can understand.
Carl Reader
Member of FCSA IAP

Chris Bryce is an accomplished CEO with a record of achievement in delivering excellence, growth, cultural change and influence in complex businesses and non-profits, most recently as CEO of The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

Chris began his career in sales, becoming Sales Director of a business logistics company and then moving on to become its General Manager where he gained experience in operational management and computerisation. Following that Chris stepped into the world of contracting and consultancy starting as an analyst/programmer at a number of financial institutions, with clients including HSBC, CitiBank, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan. He then moved into strategic change management, delivering multiple global-scale change programmes as a consultant Programme Director, again within Financial Services with clients such as RBS/NatWest.

Chris then spent seven years as CEO of IPSE, leading it to become a multiple award-winning non-profit and the go-to organisation speaking for the complex and diverse self-employed sector to Government and the media. During his time as IPSE’s CEO he also acted as President of The European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), a collaboration of national associations from across Europe which represent independent professionals at EU level through targeted research and advocacy. He has also held a number of non-executive roles and advises on not-for-profit governance.

With 25 years of experience in the freelance and contractor industry, Chris has campaigned long and hard for the betterment of the entire profession and as he takes on the role as CEO of FCSA Bryce says, “I’m delighted to join FCSA as its new CEO. It’s my aim to ensure all parties in the supply chain, especially contractors served by FCSA members can expect the highest levels of compliance, transparency and reliability from FCSA accredited members as well as regarding the FCSA itself as a trusted partner, which will act independently and with integrity.”

Chris Bryce
Chief Executive at FCSA

Hannah is a Senior Associate in Brabners’ employment law team. Together with Simon she provides employment law and regulatory advice on issues affecting umbrella companies and the wider recruitment sector, including in relation to National Minimum Wage, the Agency Worker Regulations, holiday pay and dispute resolution.

Hannah Morrison
Senior Associate

Simon is a Partner in the employment law team at Brabners. He has dedicated the last 20 years to the recruitment sector, working with national and international recruitment agencies, umbrella companies, intermediaries and trade associations. 

Simon Whitehead
Partner at Brabners

Simon joined JMW in September 2017 as a Partner in our Employment department.

Simon has a specific expertise in working with clients in the recruitment sector and has worked with clients in this sector since 2007.

He has extensive knowledge and understanding about the Agency Workers’ Regulations and regulatory legislation that govern how employment agencies can operate.

Simon has worked with a number of the recruitment trade associations and their members.

Simon regularly assists businesses put in place compliant contractual terms.

Simon has significant experience and expertise in advising recruitment businesses with restrictive covenant disputes and has specific expertise in the issues arising from the use of social media.

In addition, Simon also has a general employment practice.

Simon Bloch
Partner at JMW

James has a first-class degree in Mathematics and an Executive MBA. He is a well-rounded leader with a diverse background, from running start-up businesses to leading global strategic change programmes.

Many years ago James set up his own PSC, offering strategic consultancy services to the construction and oil and gas industries. Through this experience he learnt first-hand about some of the intricacies and challenges within the temporary labour market, standing him in good stead to help influence future legislation and regulations.

He later ran the umbrella and payroll offerings for Danbro, Gabem, Trafalgar and Black Diamond until December 2022, gaining invaluable experience within the sector. James joined the FCSA Board in Sept 2020, and elected Non-Executive Chair by the Board and FCSA Membership in Jan 2022. He strives to make positive change across the sector and continually drive best practice throughout the membership base.

James Burrows
Chair at FCSA

Amin is an experienced professional with a background in software, payroll, account management and sales. He obtained a Master's degree in Law from Northumbria University and began his career as a software trainer at JA nearly 9 years ago. Amin’s keen interest in sales led him to transition into Account Manager before progressing his way to Commercial Manager.As a trainer, he helped clients understand and effectively use the JA software, while as an account manager, he maintained strong and positive relationships with clients, ensuring they received the support and services they needed.As Commercial Manager, Amin helps oversees the sales team and is responsible for driving revenue growth. His unique combination of legal and technical knowledge and extensive experience in account management and sales makes him a valuable asset to any organisation.In addition to his professional accomplishments, Amin is a dedicated family man who enjoys spending time with his loved ones. In his free time, Amin has a passion for football and plays for a local team. He values the physical and mental benefits of the sport and enjoys the camaraderie and team-building opportunities it provides

Amin Kashy
Commercial Manager at JA

In his career, David has been both a corporate consumer and supplier of accounting services. Since 2016 he has been providing FreeAgent’s cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software primarily into contractor-focused practices within the UK.

David Rose
Principal Partner Manager - Key Accounts

Mitigo’s experience in protecting professional services firms and other businesses enables Kerrie to highlight common vulnerabilities and explain how to implement a proportionate risk management framework.

Kerrie believes that the challenges of cybersecurity, business resilience and legal & regulatory compliance, needn’t keep business leaders awake at night. It’s just a matter of matching the right solution to the problem.

He has spent the last two decades helping businesses identify their exposure to risk, and his keen eye for detail has enabled him to deliver robust packaged solutions that provide real protection – allowing them to get on with doing what they do best.

Kerrie Machin
Partner at Mitigo

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Sponsors

The Menu

• Chef’s selection of sandwiches, wraps & ciabattas

• Halloumi and red onion & pepper skewers with garlic aioli

• Chilled rice noodle, toasted sesame, spring onion, tofu, spiced gochujang & soy

• Charred corn & chicken salad, black bean, avocado, paprika tortilla, chipotle yoghurt dressing

• Mini roast salmon & lentil salad, ginger, garlic, pomegranate & mint dressing

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• Treacle tart slice

• Rocky Road, chocolate, marshmallow shortbread

Forum 2023 Itinerary

Click on the heading to see more information

Doors open for registration

Browse our sponsor stands and enjoy tea, coffee and pastries while you do.

Conference starts

Introduction from FCSA’s Chief Executive, Chris Bryce.

10 minute introduction.

My Digital

‘Embracing the Future: How Will the AI Revolution Transform Your Payroll Business?’

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly evolving and making waves across numerous sectors, but what relevance does it hold for the world of payroll, and how can we harness its potential to revolutionise it?

Let’s explore how this emerging technology is poised to redefine payroll processes, improve efficiency, and shape the future of our industry.

You will learn about:

– The current state of AI technology

– How AI will impact the payroll industry

– What you can do to prepare your business for the AI-powered future

15 minute presentation Q&A 

Mitigo Cybersecurity

Are you as cyber secure as you think you are?

  • The elephant in the room. Understand the difference between cybersecurity and IT.
  • Learn about the common mistakes made by umbrella firms that lead to cyber breaches.
  • Take away some tips to improve your security posture back at the office.
 
 
15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Margaret Beels OBE

Director of Labour Market Enforcement

If Deregulation is a Priority, what is the role for DLME?

This talk will discuss the role of regulation and enforcement in the DLME space and how Margaret sees regulation and the growth agenda as being symbiotic.

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Sponsor Roundtable

Your table host will chair some questions. This is an opportunity to discuss market insights and network with the people you are seated with.

15 minutes of discussion with 5 minutes where we discuss as a room at large.

Tea, Coffee & Networking Break

Enjoy some refreshments, network with other attendees and visit our sponsor stalls.

25 minutes.

Welcome back from break

Time to join a new table in the conference area.

5 minutes.

Brabners

Data Protection Update

  • general update on developments and recent cases/decisions
  • specific issues for umbrella companies and recruiters to consider to ensure good data hygiene and reduce the risk of fines
  • compliance considerations
  • what’s on the horizon?

 

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Credas

How to onboard contractors like superstars, not suspects

• How technology can reduce the burden of compliance during the recruitment process
• How we can all help to prevent modern slavery in the UK
• What will be the impact of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Sponsor Roundtable

Your table host will chair some questions. This is an opportunity to discuss market insights and network with the people you are seated with.

15 minutes of discussion with 5 minutes where we discuss as a room at large.

Lunch & Networking Break

Enjoy some refreshments, network with other attendees and visit our sponsor stalls.

45 minutes.

Welcome back from lunch

Time to join a new table in the conference area.

5 minutes.

FreeAgent

Solving the digitalisation challenge for contractors

Technology has transformed the accounting industry, producing new opportunities and challenges for practices and their contractor clients. FreeAgent’s Principal Partner Manager, David Rose, will discuss how to get your clients to embrace digitalisation. He’ll cover:

• The challenges that accountants face with contractor clients and digitalisation
• How to train your clients on the benefits of digital transformation
• How automation can improve your practice’s productivity

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Carl Reader

CHANGE IS COMING

Takeaways::

– overview of the wider changing landscape

– practical tips to help embrace and drive through change

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

JMW Solicitors

With a year having passed since the Supreme Court decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel, the Government has consulted on calculating holiday entitlement for part year and irregular hours workers. How will the proposed changes to the law address the difficulties presented to the contracting sector as a result of the decision?”

• How to correctly calculate holiday entitlement and pay for that leave for contractors in relation to the Working Time Regulations and Employment Rights Act.
• How any new legislation would work following the decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel.
• How to stay compliant!

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

Sponsor Roundtable

Your table host will chair some questions. This is an opportunity to discuss market insights and network with the people you are seated with.

15 minutes of discussion with 5 minutes where we discuss as a room at large.

Tea, Coffee & Networking Break

Enjoy some refreshments, network with other attendees and visit our sponsor stalls.

25 minutes.

Welcome back from break

Time to join a new table in the conference area.

5 minutes.

JA

Don’t be afraid of change – Make software your business DNA

• Disaster Recovery & Security
• Never too late – navigate your migration
• A Perfect World

15 minute talk and 5 minute Q&A

FCSA’s IAP Panel

20 minute talk and 10 minute Q&A.

FCSA closing address

FCSA Chair, James Burrows, closes the conference with a Q&A.

15 minutes.

Networking & drinks