Meet our Designated events manager, Jodi Newton

Meet our Designated events manager, Jodi Newton

Designated Events

What makes a great events manager?  Attention to detail for sure, creativity and innovation, definitely, and someone with positive interpersonal skills? Absolutely. But In today’s virtual world, you also need somebody with the ability to pick up new platforms and technologies with ease, someone who isn’t afraid to jump right in and learn something new. 

You need that person to be flexible as things won’t always go to plan, i.e a physical event turning virtual at the last minute. The ability to stay calm, level-headed whilst seeking to solve any problems that may arise. 

Meet Jodi Newton. Since 2019 she has been our (excuse the pun) designated events manager. With over 25 years of experience and a commitment to excellence, Jodi has helped numerous clients create and execute both virtual and in-person events, achieving their goals in a smooth and seamless fashion. 

From being a key liaison during the early years of the MOBO awards while working at the New Connaught Rooms through to holding conference and banqueting manager roles at some of London’s top hotels. Jodi has likely seen it all. (If you ever speak to her in person, do ask her about the time she had to fire Santa!) 

We asked Jodi about her favourite events moments during her career, she told us: 

“One of my career highlights has to be being involved in the MOBO awards when they first started at the New Connaught Rooms. For two years in a row, I was their main contact, liaising with the organisers and ensuring that the Operations team had all the information they needed to make the event run smoothly – including dealing with celebrity performers with some very particular demands! It was thrilling watching the event grow into such a huge success over the following years, knowing that we had played an important part in helping them establish their name.

After several years working in Central London hotels and venues, I joined a construction company and organised all their events, from a client lunch for 10 people to a staff weekend away for 200. I loved the new challenges that came from working on behalf of the client instead of the venue. My highlight has to be organising our company’s 10th anniversary, a lavish dinner dance at stunning Banqueting House. For me, there is no better feeling than walking into a room and seeing that everything is in place, everything goes well, and everyone has a fantastic time, knowing how hard I’ve worked to make it happen.”

We also asked Jodi what she feels the events Industry will look like post-pandemic: 

“I’m feeling positive about the events industry for the coming year overall. Covid continues to have a varying effect in different countries, but I do believe the UK Events industry will continue to recover, both for work and leisure.

The pandemic has driven an exponential increase, and improvement, in virtual event technologies and these will still have a place in the future. However, there will always be an appetite for travel and for physically being in the same space as other people, and so hybrid events are here to stay.”

At Designated, Jodi has several, regular clients that she organises and executes events for. The fact they keep returning to work with Jodi, speaks volumes. 

Designated, a lifesaver for sure! 

When Covid 19 hit, the format of all the corporate events at WOB NexGen had to change imminently to meet the dynamic needs of our global corporate partners. The challenge was primarily to switch our in-house workshops, talks and events over to remote hybrid platforms without compromising quality and content. With the swift intervention of Designated and Jodi Newton in particular, we were able to seamlessly move from one to the next. 

Jodi stepped into the multi-faceted role with ease and the necessary professionalism we required to assure our partners that it was business as usual. She has become an integral part of our corporate team who independently manages the planning, execution, and follow-up of all our events. 

Ancia Cronje, WOB NexGen, Corporate Events Manager 

If you are planning a virtual or in-person, live event and are looking for additional events and/or marketing support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team. michelle@designatedgroup.com 

 

 

 

 

The future of medical events, 2022+

The future of medical events, 2022+

Medical Events Designated

It’s no secret that the events industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Worth £39.1 billion to the UK economy and a landscape that thrives on human interaction, making it a sizeable loss to businesses bottom line. Some tech-savvy and forward-thinking organisations leapt at the opportunity to save costs and increase event registrations by going virtual. This worked well for some while others struggled with new technologies. Phrases like ‘you’re on mute’ even made it to the 2020 New Years Eve drone show above London’s 02 arena. (How great was that by the way?!) 

One thing we know for certain is that the pandemic accelerated events industry and technology changes that would have taken a long time for many businesses to become accustomed to. Virtual events became a buzzword in 2020, with 52,000 of them happening on just one platform.

But now as we draw towards the end of 2021, what have we learnt about the events industry and what can we expect from 2022+?

Virtual events are here to stay. 

Whether you love them or loathe them, the benefits of virtual events are vast. Depending on the scale, they can be pulled together fairly quickly with the right platform and partners. Live events require everyone to be in the same place, whereas many more people have the opportunity to be part of a virtual event. Your annual event held in a conference room at a London hotel now has the opportunity to go global. Take one of the biggest technology companies on the planet. Microsoft. In 2019 their ‘ignite’ conference attracted 6,000 attendees, each paying $2,395 dollars per person. In 2020 the event was virtual and free. They attracted 197,000 people. There is a revenue question here, but many companies have adjusted their sponsorship packages and opportunities to recoup these losses. Businesses can now afford to run several events rather than just one, also offering greater incentives to their sponsors who could gain greater, more regular exposure.

But what about hybrid?

Hybrid events allow for the flexibility and reach of a virtual event, but the connection and engagement of an in-person option. We will see many events organisers create opportunities for both virtual and in-person experiences for those that want them. Ensuring that face to face networking opportunities are also on offer. Virtual is great, it gets the job done. But there is nothing quite like sharing an experience, reading body language, making eye contact and laughing over how addictive the canapes are this year. Showing up in person also demonstrates your dedication to a particular event or topic. It shows you’re serious about your job and your industry. Not everybody is ready to mix in a room full of people, and that’s why hybrid events will become both popular and petitioned for by events attendees.

Live events will be driven by experience

We now know that an event can work very well as virtual or hybrid. But what about a solely live event. Will events organisers struggle to persuade attendees to leave the comfort of the home laptops? In one sense a live event will be an easy sell, as humans we crave interaction with other people, it is one of our most basic needs and for the best part of 2 years, we’ve kept our circles small. But on the other side, if we can avoid public transport be around to meet family and personal requirements and still get all we want from the event, be it professional upskilling, CPD points or more details about a new and emerging industry trend, why not do it from home?

At Designated we have been running many virtual events for our medical clients. In most cases CPD points are available, making them incredibly practical for atendees to join us live from the comfort of their home. 

 

But we predict events organisers are going to have to pull out all the stops in some cases to bring back the delegates. Making it truly worth the journey, a memorable experience that goes beyond great content. That may mean increasing budgets and scrapping formats that have worked perfectly well, pre-pandemic.

Safety and Sustainability

But it isn’t only the experience organisers are going to need to consider. What about safety? Keeping delegates re-assured that you are doing everything humanly possible to make the event a safe one, will be imperative in its reputation. There will also be a renewed emphasis on sustainability. Organisers will need to be able to demonstrate how they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. On a smaller scale it will be through things such as signage, delegate badges, events collateral and gifts but on a bigger scale – where are speakers coming from? Are they flying across the globe to be present? Events organisers will need to be answerable to their attendees, their sponsors and anybody else with a stake in the business.

The events industry is worth trillions worldwide and it isn’t expected to return fully normal until at least 2023, though we might not know when events will feel familiar again, we do know that the changes brought on by the Coronavarius, will have lasting effects.

If you’re considering setting the date on your events calendar, but aren’t sure where to start, why not reach out to one of our friendly team. Whether it’s a virtual event or a live show, our team can help with strategy, event planning and execution as well as post-event analysis. Contact Marketing Director Michelle Wheeler on michelle@designatedgroup.com

 

 

 

 

IR35 Reforms – the story so far

IR35 Reforms – the story so far

IR35


It’s been more than two months since the introduction of reforms to the IR35 rules and in that time, thousands of contractors have required contractual assessment and review. 

JSA Group’s assessment platform, IR35 Complete™, has been used to assess contractors with over 750 hiring organisations across numerous industry sectors since the reforms were implemented.  Naturally, this scale of deployment leads to a healthy data set, offering interesting insight about what’s happening in the marketplace.

To date, 18.9% of the off-payroll status determination assessments carried out through IR35 Complete™ have identified that the hiring organisation is in fact not responsible for producing an assessment due to them qualifying for the “small company exemption”. In such scenarios, the IR35 assessment responsibility continues to sit with the worker themselves. The IR35 Complete™ assessment process specifically screens hiring organisations based on their size to ensure that supply chains don’t become polluted with invalid Status Determination Statements produced by exempted hirers.

“Inside” IR35 determinations account for just 28.2% of determinations made. This is interesting because of pre-April concerns that many more contractors were going to be officially classified as “inside” IR35. Of course, there is still some application of blanket “inside” IR35 decisions which isn’t reflected in this figure, but we believe this statistic speaks volumes about the value of carrying out genuine assessments. When roles are properly assessed, instances of “inside” IR35 are much less common, indicating the unfairness of large-scale blanket “inside” IR35 determinations.

“Outside” IR35 determinations show up in 52.8% of cases. When we consider that in practice this number can most likely be combined with the 18.9% of cases where the worker remains responsible for their own IR35 determination, that effectively means that in nearly three quarters of cases, there is no change of IR35 status disruption injected into the supply chain; it’s effectively “business as usual”.

All of this underlines the need for quality, timely and accurate IR35 assessments.

 

Article originally posted on theglobalrecruiter.com, August 2021

 

 

 

 

We Won! Best Medical PA Services Provider in the UK.

We Won! Best Medical PA Services Provider in the UK.

Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards

Designated have been voted Best Medical Services Provider in the UK in the Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Awards!

Global Health & Pharma hosts the annual Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards to honour the innovation, determination and outstanding levels of care demonstrated by those who place patient wellbeing at the forefront of their practice.

Global Health & Pharma Magazine (GHP) was initially launched to act as an information-sharing platform for those in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. 

Designated Medical are delighted to have been awarded ‘Best Medical Services Provider in the UK’

GHP have a dedicated research team to gather independent information which is then assessed

The research team casts their final judgment based on various criteria such as great contribution to the global healthcare or pharmaceutical industries, longevity, diversification, sustained or continued growth, significant innovations, feedback from patients and customers.

Thank you Global Health and Pharma for the award!

If you are considering taking on a Medical PA, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional and friendly team for a no-obligation chat.

abi@designatedgroup.com

 

 

 

 

What is IR35 and what does it mean for you?

What is IR35 and what does it mean for you?

IR35

Article originally posted here, written by Nick Green, financial journalist. 

What is IR35 and how can you avoid being caught out by it? We explain what this controversial tax change means for contractors and the businesses that hire them, and how to take steps to reduce the risk of being sunk by the IR35 trap. 

Small businesses and freelancers alike have been bracing themselves for an imminent change in a piece of tax-avoidance legislation. This has been pushed back thanks to the coronavirus, but it still means that from April 2021 private sector employers will have to follow the same rules as the public sector with regard to IR35. The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that both companies and contractors will feel the pinch. 

What is IR35?
IR35 is also known as the ‘off-payroll working rules’. IR35 is designed to prevent workers from avoiding tax by operating as contractors, when really they are employees in all but name. So for example, if a contractor operates via their own limited company, but is otherwise treated the same as their client’s employees, they are considered to be ‘inside IR35’ and will need to make additional tax payments. 

What is the new change concerning IR35? 
IR35 was originally introduced by Gordon Brown, to prevent employees from avoiding tax by being treated as contractors. However, since then the legislation has become notorious, sometimes implicating businesses that believed they were hiring contractors appropriately, only for HMRC to disagree. 

Post-April 2021, private sector employers will be held responsible for determining whether IR35 applies to any contractor they hire – which would require them to treat the contractor as an employee for tax purposes. This is already the case in the public sector. 

Private sector businesses will therefore face a tricky choice: continue to treat contractors as contractors and risk a hefty fine if HMRC takes a different view – or treat them as employees with the additional costs and responsibilities this involves. There is widespread concern that genuine contractors will be classed as employees, and so will either take an unfair tax hit, or lose their contracts altogether. 

Are you inside or outside IR35? 
IR35 was introduced because of the way employees are treated differently from contractors. With an employee, an employer must provide a workplace pension, paid holiday, sick pay, other benefits (perhaps) and pay employer’s National Insurance contributions. A contractor, on the other hand, is paid a flat fee and can be dismissed easily if there is no more work for them to do. 

The vast majority of contractors operate as limited companies, either one-person companies or ‘umbrella’ companies. It’s rare for contractors to be sole traders, as unlimited liability make this risky for them, while companies are wary of hiring them in case HMRC thinks they are employees. Operating as a company also means the contractor can pay less tax. 

However, operating as a company doesn’t prevent a contractor from being an employee in all but name – which is where IR35 comes in. Broadly, IR35 says, ‘If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.’ In other words, if the contractor is working like an employee, with similar obligations, then they should be treated as one for tax purposes. HMRC, therefore, looks very closely at what it calls ‘personal service companies’. 

What’s a personal service company? 
Though the name may sound dubious, a personal service company (PSC) is merely a company through which a contractor operates in order to do their freelance work (because most businesses won’t hire a sole trader). The term isn’t defined in law – HMRC simply uses this label to describe companies that may be used as ‘cover’ by contractors who are really employees in all but name. 

This creates a double problem, affecting both contractors and the businesses that want to use them. If a business is afraid that any contractor it hires might be considered an employee by HMRC, it may not risk hiring them at all. In this case, both the business and the contractor lose out. This is what many small business fear will happen post-April 2021. 

Can I check my IR35 employment status? 
HMRC offers an online tool, Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) that you can use to give yourself a general guide to your status. However, industry bodies (including IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) fear it is still not fit for purpose. Contractors, recruitment agencies and end-clients therefore shouldn’t rely on it wholly when determining IR35 status. 

The biggest problem with CEST: the MoO factor 
One of the key deficiencies of the CEST tool is that it does not factor in ‘Mutuality of Obligation’ (MoO). Mutuality of Obligation is one of the defining characteristics of employment, in that the employee has certain obligations towards the employer, and vice versa. Many of these obligations do not apply to contractors (e.g. the contractor can choose where and how to deliver the work, and can delegate it to an associate if necessary; while the client is not obliged to offer the contractor more work). MoO has been a decisive factor in a number of recent IR35 tribunals, which is another reason why the CEST tool is still only a rough guide. 

8 tips on how contractors and businesses can avoid IR35 
Fears that the changes to IR35 will spell the death of freelancing are exaggerated. By taking the appropriate steps, both contractors and businesses can ensure that they do not fall foul of IR35. 

Remember, IR35 is something that applies to a role, rather than an individual. So just because you were outside it on your last assignment, doesn’t mean that you won’t be inside it on your next one. For every assignment that you take on as a contractor, the most important thing is to be able to show that you are ‘in business on your own account’ and therefore not an employee. 

Tips for proving you are ‘in business on your own account’ 
If you are a contractor operating through a limited company (either your own or an umbrella company), HMRC may ask for evidence that you are genuinely freelance, and not just an employee of your client. Here are some ways that you could make your case. 

1. Highlight the ways your work situation differs from employees’ 

Genuine employees will have certain set working conditions, such as minimum hours, pension arrangements and other benefits, and perhaps subsidised services too. The employer also has a duty to provide work for them, which the employee has an obligation to do – and the employer can stipulate where and how the work is to be carried out. You should be able to show that little if any of this applies to you. 

2. Keep client correspondence 

If you have emails that clearly state you are not under the control of a manager at the business, but are simply contracted to provide a service, this can be useful too. 

3. Don’t name your company after yourself 

HMRC knows that a company named after a person may well be just that person, and this fits their profile of a PSC. But if your company has a more ‘business-like’ name, e.g. XYZ Design, it emphasises the fact that your company is distinct from you, and that you could delegate the work to another person if necessary. Employees cannot delegate in this way, so it marks you out as different. 

4. Have your own marketing materials 

You should be able to demonstrate that you market your contracting services actively. Have a listing on relevant services website, post adverts and print business cards, all of which help to indicate that you are in business on your own account. Never use a business card which includes your client’s branding! 

5. Maintain your own office 

A well-equipped office, even just in your own home, will strongly imply that your work activities extend well beyond your current client. If you also invest in your own software licences, trade literature and professional memberships, this can help a great deal too. 

6. Take out your own business insurance 

Having your own business insurance, such as professional indemnity insurance, is a great way of demonstrating that you’re not just an employee. 

7. Invest in your professional development 

Employees don’t pay for their own training, so if you pay for yours this will be another useful point of difference. Some professions may require you to take continued professional development (CPD) to remain qualified, so by paying for this you’re also reasserting your contractor status. 

8. Try to have multiple clients at the same time 

It’s not always possible to arrange, but if your time is split fairly evenly between two or more main clients, it’s much harder for HMRC to claim you’re an employee of any of them. However, having a very uneven split (e.g. 90 per cent of your income deriving from one client) may be less convincing. 

The more of these strands of evidence you can call upon, the more likely it is that HMRC will accept you are in business on your own account. Having just one or two on their own may not be enough. 

IR35 tips for businesses hiring contractors 

If your business hires contractors, either from time to time or on an ongoing basis, then you should review your relationships with them to ensure they don’t fall inside IR35. 

From April 2021 it will be your responsibility to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor for tax purposes. You will have to issue a Status Determination Statement to your contractors, which makes their IR35 status clear (inside or outside the rules) and explains why. As long as you support your decision with sufficient evidence and file the appropriate tax documents, you should avoid any penalties. 

In summary, you should: 

  1. Review all your relationships with contractors and/or consultants
  2. Make sure your terms of engagement are clear and accurate
  3. Provide contractors with their Status Determination Statement 
  4. Consider changing some contractors into employees if they fall within IR35 and if this is a more practical solution for you both 

Will I have to give my contractors employment rights? 

Some contractors who fall within IR35 and are treated as employees for tax purposes may feel they are entitled to full employment status, with all the protections that go with it. There are many potential issues that can arise from this, such as claims for backdated holiday pay, which will have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

Ask your accountant to help you face up to IR35 with confidence. 

 

 

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