ARC calls for Levy re-think

One of the UK’s leading recruitment federations is campaigning for a change in the proposed laws governing the apprentice levy. The Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC) has issued a statement today outlining why it feels the Levy is ‘grossly unfair’ and should not apply to member firms in its current form.

ARC chair Adrian Marlowe says that he has concerns over how HMRC has formulated the calculaitons on which the levy will be charged, and says the recruitment sector will carry a disproportionate burden under the rules that come into effect in April 2017.

“We want to know what happened leading up to and during the consultation conducted by the Department of BIS, and then how the decision to apply it to ‘large employers’ as stated was extended by the Treasury to include the payroll of agency workers,” Marlowe says.


“Why is recruitment targeted?’

“Apart from anything else it is important to establish which recruitment stakeholders were involved and what was said given the significance on this industry which until recently has been largely unaware of the impact. Why has the recruitment sector been disproportionately targeted?

“Regrettably HMRC has declined to commit to provide the information at this stage. Our letter was perfectly polite yet the government says that it will not provide a substantive response any earlier than 16 December, which prejudices the chance to take corrective legal action, the deadline for which is 19 December.

“However, of particular concern is that our complaint points to a lack of transparency throughout and that same lack of transparency appears to be continuing.”

Marlowe concludes: “There is further investigation to be done and we believe the issue should be widely publicised. Ultimately the government may welcome our campaign and the steps we are taking, the purpose of which is not to frustrate the idea of encouraging apprenticeships, but instead to help the government do so in a fairer and more effective way.”

In response to ARC’s move an HMRC spokesperson said: “HMRC is considering the letter from the Association of Recruitment Consultancies’ legal representatives and will be responding to them in due course.”