Features of 20X Staffing Agency Software that help in CQC Compliance and General Client Confidence

20X, the UK’s number 1 staffing agency software, comes with a number of features that help to make fundamentally positive impacts on care quality and safety – thus achieving a favourable outlook from CQC inspectors.

  1. 20X has a robust and fully online, app-based staff registration system. 
  • The registration captures all relevant staff information including their qualifications/training, work experience, skills, and specialties as well as full background checks. 
  • The app-based system alerts the staff in real-time to keep their registrations and compliance documents up to date. This is achieved through expiry warnings. 
  • Any member of staff failing to keep compliance data up-to-date is automatically alerted to the agency management, enabling their deactivation or other necessary action to be taken from within the system. Once a member of staff is deactivated, they won’t be able to accept any new shifts until they satisfactorily meet compliance requirements and bring their account fully up to speed.
  1. 20X staffing agency software alerts the management and staff members with upcoming training, DBS and  Right To Work expiry dates to enable them to take proactive action before getting barred from the agency.
  2. The system has features in place to record any complaints and incidents received from a care provider where a staff member has worked. It provides a full audit trail of activities about their shifts and employment.
  3. An agency can give permission to a care provider to give reviews and ratings for staff members. This serves as a useful tool to encourage a positive working attitude and hard work. At the same time, agencies can be notified about poorly performing staff, enabling necessary corrective action to be taken.
  4. 20X has a comprehensive set of reports for management information to take preventive and corrective actions. For example, 20X can provide a report for a particular staff member with all their reviews, admin notes and any corrective actions taken to date. It can also produce a full audit trail of activities, work history, document expiry and more – for a specific member of staff or even for the entire staff pool of the agency.

20X addresses the 5 Key Questions related to staff that CQC generally look into:

Are they safe? 

The agency is equipped to put in place a rigorous background checks system for all staff members. 20X makes this easy. The staff background checks built into 20X require that the staff have a valid DBS, Right to Work and NMC (where applicable). It also ensures that they are suitably qualified, with adequate training and work experience.

Are they effective?

In ensuring the effectiveness of care services, CQC inspectors are dedicated to seeing that all  care, treatment, and support ‘achieves good outcomes, helps you to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence.’ 20X provides robust staff compliance procedures in order to ensure top-quality care and the best possible outcomes.

Are they caring? 

CQC expects staff to ‘involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity, and respect and those are the high standards they are checking for. The 20X software provides tools and processes enabling more effective recruitment, management of interviews and final staff selection. This empowers staffing agencies to select and employ staff with adequate experience; references are obtained through the 20X system.

Are they responsive to people’s needs? 

Services are organised so that they meet the needs of the care organisation and their service recipients – the residents. This can be achieved through a concerted effort of the agency management, the care organisation and the staff members. 20X software helps to achieve this through a range of measures, including a powerful feature that gives priority to staff members who have previously worked in a specific care home or hospital – enabling continuity of care.

Are they well-led? 

CQC says it wants to ensure that the leadership, management, and governance of an  organisation is achieving ‘high-quality care that’s based around your individual needs, that it encourages learning and innovation, and that it promotes an open and fair culture.’ 20X is designed to help its users reach and maintain these high standards through a variety of in-built features. For example, the admin user rights allow the agency management to coordinate admin staff to ever higher degrees of complexity – allocating them just the right mix of duties for the relevant department, while senior management is freed up to focus squarely on business matters.

The most robust agency management software helps you to build a finely-tuned organisation in an age where businesses are expected to handle vast and confusing quantities of data and regulation. Now you can let the 20X software take care of it all for you.

Potential Impacts of IR35 for Nursing & Care Agencies and 7 Steps to Overcome them.

Understanding IR35

IR35 is the short version of the UK tax legislation that is designed to identify contractors and businesses who avoid paying the appropriate tax by working as masked employees – or those who have self-employed workers who mask their true employment status. The legislation was supposed to be put into action in April 2020. However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the government postponed this. It is now expected to become law in April 2021.

IR35 rules assess whether or not someone who is working for a business as a contractor is fulfilling the same role as an employee in that business. If it is deemed that a contractor is performing the same role as an employee, they are considered to be ‘inside IR35’.

If a contractor is considered to be inside the IR35 category, HMRC then surely categorises them as an employee and ultimately deems them liable to pay Income Tax and National Insurance.

Public and Private sector changes

In 2017, for the public sector, individual responsibility for determining tax status completely shifted from themselves to the organisation employing that individual. This meant that most public sector organisations determined that the majority of their agency workers (including most nurses) fell inside the IR35 bracket. They would now be categorised as ‘employed’ for tax purposes.

Post-April 2021, the government rules will be applicable in the private sector too for companies deemed to be large or medium-sized. Large or medium-sized meant any business with more than 50 employees and with a revenue of more than £10.2M. Most care homes would belong under the ‘large group’ category.

Potential Impacts of IR35 for Nursing & Care Agencies

If caught by IR35, the ‘deemed employees’, the ‘contractors or intermediary’ (meaning the limited company the employee sets up), and the firms hiring them (in this case the Nursing & Care Agency) have to pay income tax and NICs.

The financial impact of IR35 can be significant as it can reduce the worker’s take-home pay by up to 25%, costing the typical limited company contractor (and the agency that employs the contractor) thousands of pounds in additional income tax and NICs.

As the care agency sector is already operating on thin margins – especially in the private sector – the potential impact of IR35 could be catastrophic for them. Their long-term survival post-IR35 has been thrown into doubt. Many agencies will fail to operate as a viable and profitable business if adequate measures are not put in place.

Here are 7 steps that can help to overcome any 1R35 impact on your business

  1. Avoid coming under HMRC radar negatively – To stay on the right side of the law, you should take care to properly audit your employment practices – and make sure that all your temporary and contract staff are within IR35.
  2. Negotiate better rates from your clients – Since your employment costs are going to go up by at least 25% for the temporary staff, try to negotiate better rates for your business from your suppliers – whether they are hospitals, care homes, or the local council. It is a task that is easier said than done. Chances are that some of your suppliers may not entertain these requests, as they themselves are under increasing pressure to keep costs down. Nevertheless, you may find some understanding suppliers who are prepared to work with you here – after all, it’s in their own interests that you remain in business and continue to operate for profit.
  3. Adopt cost-saving measures for your business Streamline your business operations to maximise your profit. This is where many businesses are failing. There are some areas where businesses can minimise waste and tackle excessive spending. You need to make sure that each area is as efficient and highly optimised as possible if you are serious about meeting your ongoing business needs.
  4. Improve efficiency by going digital – Agencies can easily make use of care agency software like 20X to automate a lot of mundane business activities like staff documentation, timesheet management, invoice creation, and other details. There are examples of agencies that adopted modern agency management software and saved thousands on their budget by cutting down expenses massively.
  5. Inform and train your employees to determine accurate IR35 status – Gather ample information to understand IR35 status. All businesses need to showcase how they have taken reasonable care in their assessments. HMRC will look at the size of the business and assess how much time, effort, and cost they have put into getting this right.
  6. Consult an accountant or an expert in IR35 – You can use HMRC’s online tool Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) to know for sure whether a worker should be categorised as the company employed or self-employed for tax purposes.

Use care agency software tools to help make process changes according to IR35 – Consult with care agency software providers like 20X to see and understand how it would be updated in their systems to reflect the change within the legislation.

How to Choose The Best Software for Your Care Agency?

In today’s digital era, many characteristics of medical healthcare practices (including care staffing and care management) are handled by software systems. Modern care agency staffing software has taken over most of the mundane rhythms of managing employees, shifts, invoicing, patient information, documentation and other tasks.

Selecting the right care agency software that best tailors your care agency’s challenging needs has become a significant decision for your business. The software should have features that allow you to document, schedule, and manage shifts, as well as handling all communications (including staff notifications), simply and efficiently. If you’re able to find software that also equips you to manage complex recruitment needs, you could be on to a winning path for your business.

To ensure the staffing and recruitment is effortless and successful, in addition to running your agency with minimal administrative input, it’s critical to choose the best care agency software available in the market.

Some of the essential features of an ideal care agency software are:

Features of an efficient care agency software

  1. The system should enable a natural recruitment process. From the initial staff registration all the way through to document uploading, onboarding and vetting, you need a system that is logical, user-friendly and no-nonsense. 
  2. Since the care staff must upload several care certificates and related documents, the online experience should be addressed uniquely – but without exhausting the potential employee. Otherwise there is a risk that frustrated applicants may leave the process to search for more effortless alternatives.
  3. For the staff member to view available shifts, accept shifts, and achieve full clarity regarding their upcoming and completed shifts.
  4. The agency should accept shifts from nursing homes and hospitals and allocate them to staff members based on times that are convenient for them. 
  5. To have an availability calendar which the staff can update, and which the agency can look at directly from their admin interface. Ideally the agency needs to be able to view – at a glance – the whole list of employees available to take up a shift.
  6. To handle last-minute shift requirements from clients and allocate them rapidly along with instant notifications to staff and care homes.
  7. The software should handle expiry warnings of mandatory documents to both the staff member and the agency administrator on time, providing efficiency in communicating changes and notifications.
  8. The software system should be intuitive and straightforward to use. Although seemingly unimportant, this will often turn out to be the most compelling feature for agencies. Some existing software solutions involve highly cumbersome data input.

To help address these difficulties within the nursing care agency sector, Crown Software Solutions Ltd. assembled a team of experts, including software developers, nurses, carers, and care managers. Together they developed a modern software package called 20X that encompasses all of the above features and many more—combining all the crucial elements in pursuit of the ideal care agency software solution. If you are ready to take the next step in growing and streamlining your agency operation with a modern software system, contact 20X today for a free no-obligation demo!