what you need to know about UK tax policy.

The purpose of this document is to set out the tax strategy and approach for how Randstad UK and its subsidiaries based in the United Kingdom and Middle East deal with their tax affairs and manage tax risk.

global tax policy

UK tax policy.

15/12/2017

Introduction

The Chief Financial Officer of the UK and Middle East is responsible for leading the UK tax strategy as a board member.

This strategy has been approved by both the UK board of directors and Randstad Global Tax department based in the Netherlands which is part of the ultimate controlling party, Randstad Holding NV.

This document is reviewed on an annual basis and any amendments required will be made.  This policy will remain in effect until further notice or amendments.

Background

Randstad is a leading global staffing and recruitment company, offering a wide range of solutions in the HR services space. Our services include regular temporary staffing and permanent placement of candidates. Randstad was founded in 1960 in the Netherlands. In 2016, Randstad globally generated revenue of €20.7 billion, employing an average of 32,280 corporate employees, who worked in about 4,750 branches and In-house locations in 39 countries. On average, we deployed around 625,000 candidates per day in temporary jobs, while we placed over 180,000 candidates in permanent positions.  Randstad UK and Middle East are two geographical markets within the Randstad Group and this strategy covers these markets.

Our values and business principles

Randstad is one of the global leaders in HR services. Our core values were established in the company’s early days. They continue to serve as a compass for everyone at Randstad, to guide our behaviour and to shape our culture.

One of these core values is ‘the simultaneous promotion of all interests’: our stakeholders are at the heart of our strategy, we serve their interests and create lasting value for all of them – our clients, our candidates, our employees and other stakeholders including governments, while our business must benefit society as a whole.

Overall tax strategy

The overall UK tax strategy is as follows:

  • Pay the proper amounts of taxes in the countries where value is created
  • Meet all legal requirements and make all appropriate returns and payments in a timely manner
  • Utilise all available tax credits and reliefs available to the UK companies in line with the company’s strategy
  • Consider the tax implications of all major business decisions
  • Ensure adequate tax controls are in place for all UK companies as part of the Randstad Global Key Control Framework
  • Ensure there is Board accountability and oversight for all tax matters, and;
  • Ensure no detrimental reputation impact to the Randstad brand due to tax decisions and actions

Tax control framework

Our key company risks are governed by our Key Control Framework of which the Tax Control Framework forms a part. The effectiveness of these controls is assessed twice per year for all UK & Middle East based companies and the controls are subject to regular internal audits. The Tax Control Framework therefore forms the basis for all our tax risk management actions.  This is not only for the UK but also globally and covers all tax functions that are performed within the group.

The purpose of the Tax control framework is to ensure that the Randstad group is in control of all of its tax compliance obligations and does not incur any unexpected material tax charges. Our transparency and tax control framework help to recognize potential tax disputes and controversies at an early stage. Discussing and, ideally, solving them contributes to minimizing our contingent tax position.

Risk management

We operate in many markets within the UK including construction, education, financial services, business solutions and student support. Our risk appetite is aligned with our strategic priorities and its elements include:

  • Taking a zero tolerance approach to breaches of our core values and business principles, and;
  • Protecting and maintaining our reputation and the image of our brands.

Our main risks are those that threaten the in-control position of the Group. The current risks have been categorised into four areas: strategic, operational, financial & reporting and compliance.

Reputation is considered a strategic risk, financial & reporting risks include the valuation of deferred tax assets and goodwill, while tax compliance is listed as a compliance risk.

The company has a dedicated Tax Team who is responsible for all tax compliance and reports directly into the Chief Financial Officer.  There is constant communication between the finance department, board members and wider operational business on all tax matters. The business has a positive view towards tax and all parties understand the importance of meeting the company’s obligations.

Tax planning

Any action related to planning our tax position must be consistent with the normal course of business and in line with our overall country and global group strategy. As a consequence, business profits are generated where Randstad has legal and economical ownership of assets and where the relevant people manage such assets.

We ensure that the appropriate portion of taxable income is reported in UK based Randstad entities where value is created within the normal course of business in proportion with the functions performed, assets deployed and risks assumed.

All our intercompany transfer pricing and policies are based on the “arm's-length principle”, which means those that would apply as if they were agreed between unrelated parties.

Randstad will seek external tax advice on a case by case basis to assist with tax scenarios if we do not have the expertise in-house to comfortably resolve them. Furthermore, we may use external tax advice to review our in-house decisions and act as an independent check if there is uncertainty.

Attitude towards risk and tax planning

Randstad views tax compliance as extremely important and key to managing tax risk. The UK board does not pursue any aggressive tax planning arrangements and tax forms part of the business decision making process. Our relationships with both key advisors and HMRC help us to remain compliant and fully understand tax changes that might affect the business in the future. The Randstad Global Tax department also works very closely with the UK companies to ensure the actions taken by the UK fit within the global tax strategy.

Total tax contribution

We are a sizable tax payer based in the UK and therefore from that financial perspective an important contributor to society. Our fiscal footprint comprises e.g. of payroll taxes, social security contributions, value added taxes and corporation taxes.

Grievance mechanism

Randstad has a misconduct reporting procedure in place, which enables our stakeholders to report any suspicion of wrongdoing via a secure phone line or website.

Working with HMRC

Transparency and trust are embedded in our business principles and corporate culture, thus play an important role in the way we engage with HMRC. As part of that engagement, Randstad actively seeks a collaborative dialogue with HMRC.

We aim to ensure timely tax compliance including meeting all relevant filing and payment deadlines for all company taxes. If any significant uncertainty was to arise concerning tax matters we will engage with HMRC directly to ensure the law is interpreted correctly.

Any changes to business strategy or approach which might impact company taxes in the future are fully disclosed and communicated to HMRC for review and comment.  Our aim would be to obtain any early agreements on any disputed matters that might arise in the future with HMRC to avoid any uncertainty which might have an impact on the UK operation.

Randstad works very closely with our HMRC Customer Compliance Manager (CCM) with regular direct contact taking place between them and the Chief Financial Officer and the intention is for this to continue indefinitely. Randstad has previously contributed to HMRC consultations that impact our business directly and will continue to do so in the future as required.

This way of working also follows from the global tax policy set by our ultimate controlling parent company, Randstad Holding nv, that is part of the so called “enhanced relationship program” of the Dutch tax authorities, which is based on mutual trust and transparency.

Global tax policy

More information on the Randstad global tax policy can be found on the Randstad corporate website.