Stockport-based accountancy and contracting firm Sapphire is helping recruitment agencies source and manage contract workers overseas through its new division, Sapphire International, amid a time of increasing regulatory and recruitment pressures.

The division has welcomed a flurry of new clients since its launch in 2023, a trend expected to continue in 2024 as recruitment issues mount.

Sapphire International’s offering includes employed solutions for contractors, and accountancy services for self-employed contractors in countries like Denmark, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Italy. Services include invoicing, multi-currency payment handling and local compliance advice.

The firm also takes full control of new contractor onboarding on behalf of recruiters and agencies, allowing them to get on with growing their businesses while all of the admin is taken care of. Clients using the service also benefit from added security through Sapphire’s employee liability insurance.

Sapphire International’s offering comes at a crucial time for recruitment agencies, who face a double-edged sword of increasing regulation and shortages in the UK labour market, with around 9.7% of UK businesses experiencing a worker shortage in late 2023.

Sapphire’s International aims to help businesses make sense of recently-updated regulations surrounding recruitment in the UK and Europe. Under IR35 off-payroll rules, UK employment taxes are not payable by a company if a non-UK resident carries out work overseas, making the utilisation of talent abroad an attractive option for UK businesses in need of contractors.

Kris Simpson, Head of International at Sapphire, was hired by the firm last year and heads up its new division. He commented: “With labour shortages and ever-evolving legislation around the use of contractors, now is unquestionably a turbulent time for UK businesses looking to hire.

“However, our international contracting payroll solutions are designed to work for ambitious businesses who have eyes on future growth at all times.

“With administration, onboarding and payroll handled by our talented team of contracting experts, businesses, recruiters and agencies can focus on what matters most to them – fueling their international expansion.”

The launch of Sapphire International comes at a time of exciting growth for Sapphire, which has recently transitioned to employee ownership and is expanding its reach in the North West and beyond.