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 and thus to achieve 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 specialities 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 and this is achieved through expiry warnings. 
  • Any staff failing to keep their compliance data up to date are automatically alerted to the agency management so they can deactivate them or take necessary action from within the system. Once a staff is deactivated they won’t be able to accept any new shifts until they fulfil their compliance requirements and make their account up to date.
  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.
  1. The system has features in place to record any complaints and incidents received from a care provider where a staff member has worked and provides a full audit trail of activities about their shifts and employment.
  1. An agency can give permission to a care provider to give reviews and ratings for staff members. This acts as a good tool to encourage positive working attitude and hard work, at the same time notifying the agency about a poorly performing staff so the agency can take corrective action.
  1. 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 corrective actions taken to demonstrate the management process. It can also produce a full audit trail of activities, work history, document expiry etc for a particular staff member 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 can put in place systems for background check for all their staff members and 20X makes it easy and mandatory. The staff background checks built into 20X make sure that the staff have a valid DBS, Right to Work and NMC (where applicable) as well as that they are qualified with adequate training and work experience.

Are they effective?

When it comes to effectiveness of care, CQC inspectors will look into: “Your care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, helps you to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence.” 20X has demonstrated that it adequately meets the effectiveness of the care provided through the staff by putting in place robust staff compliance procedures. 

Are they caring? 

“staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.” is what CQC look for when it comes to caring. The 20X software has processes and tools made available for recruitment, interview and final staff selection for a staffing agency to make sure that they select and employ staff with adequate experience and have obtained references 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 and 20X helps in achieving this through their system wherever possible. There is a powerful feature in 20X where the system gives priority to staff members who have worked in a certain care home or hospital priority over others so continuity of care can be achieved.

Are they well-led? 

CQC says “The leadership, management and governance of the organisation make sure it’s providing 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.” The features of 20X helps in achieving this through a variety of in-built features. For example, the the admin user rights allow the Agency Management to create admin staff and allocate them just the right mix of duties for the concerned department while the senior management can focus on matters related to business. The very reason why an agency uses a robust agency management software is evidence to demonstrate that the management is well-led to provide overall high quality care and support.

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 have self-employed workers who mask their true employment status. The legislation was about to be in action in April 2020 but owing to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the government has postponed it 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 fulfilling 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 categorizes 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 (e.g., most nurses) fell inside the IR35 bracket. This meant they would 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’ (i.e., 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 can be catastrophic for them and their long-term survival will be doubtful post IR35 scenario. 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 operate your business by being on the right side of the law, you would be required to follow the law by auditing 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 and negotiate better rates for your business from your supplier’s- whether they are hospitals, care homes, or the local council. It is a task that is easier said than done and chances are that some of your suppliers may not entertain the requests as they themselves would be under pressure to keep their costs down. But out of the whole lot, you may find some good suppliers who will understand the genuine need as it is their responsibility to keep you in business and see you manage to operate in profit.
  3. Adopt cost-saving measures for your business Streamline your business operations to maximize your profit. This is one area where many businesses are failing. There are some areas where businesses can minimize wasteful expense and make sure that each area is as efficient and optimum as possible to meet 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, etc. 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 categorized as the company employed or self-employed for tax purposes.
  7. 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, etc.

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 and handle all communications, including staff notifications, efficiently. Additionally, suppose you can get away with addressing recruitment needs as well with the software you choose, 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. This means, beginning from the initial staff registration through to their document uploading, onboarding and vetting should be followed through in a user-friendly, no-nonsense way. 
  2. Since the care staff must upload several care certificates and related documents, the online experience should be addressed uniquely without exhausting the potential employee who might otherwise leave the process searching for an effortless one.
  3. For the staff member to view available shifts, accept shifts, and get 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 the agency can look at from their admin interface so they can see the whole list of employees available to take up a shift at a glance.
  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 user-friendly and straightforward to use. Although seemingly unimportant, this is perhaps the most significant feature you should be looking for because there are a few software in the market that requires cumbersome data input just to get by.

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, and developed a modern software called 20X that encompasses all of the above features and many more—combining all the crucial elements of an ideal care agency software. 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!