Clare’s contractor compliance checklist.
August 9, 2012
Clare Watson from our support team has some top tips for contractors to help you get started in your new role as quickly as possible.
Since the global banking crisis, the Financial Services Authority – UK watchdog for banks and insurance – has introduced a number of essential steps which has resulted in the pre-engagement screening process for contractors being much more lengthy and stringent. As a minimum, most clients will expect ID checks, credit references checks, criminal records checks (Disclosure Scotland) and reference checks. All Head Resourcing contractors have a nominated support person, who will look after you throughout the vetting process. My top tips for making your onboarding as smooth as possible are:
First thing to sort out is getting a copy of your credit report before you apply for a role so there can be no nasty surprises – Experian, Equifax and CallCredit are widely used sites. You should keep a record of your full address history for at least 5 years including any rental properties, and also ensuring you are on the voters’ role at your current address will make you easy to place.
Criminal records check
Many of our clients require this check to be completed via Disclosure Scotland, which you can do online if you have been at your address for more than a year. I wouldn’t recommend applying for this on the hope that it might useful as many clients have a “shelf life” on disclosure. This can range from one year to twelve weeks, and some clients even require that it must be applied for after the role as been offered. The disclosure process can take several weeks to complete and we will manage expectations with the client so a realistic start date can be agreed and there will be no delays to your start. If you are worried about any aspects of this check, feel free to call us and we can help you out.
Get your work history in order
Keeping accurate records of the dates and agencies your previous roles were through will make the referencing process so much quicker and easier, so make sure you include all contracts no matter how short. Most clients will expect you to explain and evidence any gaps in your work history; unfortunately just saying that you were travelling or took a career break won’t cut it these days! You could be asked to provide evidence for gaps of greater than one month so it’s definitely worth being prepared and hanging on to as much evidence as possible. Things like passport stamps and flight confirmations for foreign travel, course certificates for training undertaken and documents from DWP confirming Jobseeker’s Allowance are really useful along with personal and business bank statements. While being asked to provide so much sensitive personal information can feel quite intrusive, these requirements can be necessary for certain organisations, and it will be managed in a completely secure manner.
Company documents (limited company contractors)
Be prepared to provide copies of your company and VAT certificates, company insurances and proof of your business bank account – scanned copies are generally acceptable. Most FSA companies will commonly request £1M of Professional Indemnity Insurance cover so it’s really worth checking that your policy is at the correct level and is valid. Quotes seem to vary for £1m cover between £200 and £400 per year, and if you’re a member of the Professional Contractors Group (visit www.pcg.org.uk for more information) you can get a discount from some companies so it’s definitely worth having a shop around. Some companies may ask for confirmation of your trading activity with your accountant, so it might be worth giving them a heads up this is applicable to your role.
We have loads of other useful contractor resources on this website that are free to download and use. Visit www.headresourcing.com/contractors for more information.
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