Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has strengthened its employment tax team with the appointment of Laurence Simms as director.

At BDO, Laurence will be responsible for supporting clients across the North region to help them effectively manage their HMRC compliance requirements when employing and engaging a workforce.

As a specialist employment tax advisor, he brings a wealth of experience to the role advising businesses on a wide range of employment tax and global mobility issues. Laurence specialises in areas, including National Minimum Wage (NMW) health checks and audits, M&A due diligence, and remuneration, salary sacrifice and benefit planning. He joins from PwC.

Steve Talbot, partner, Global Employer Services, at BDO in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of Laurence’s calibre to the North Employment Tax team. Over the last 15 years, he has built up a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the employment tax field, staying ahead of the changing landscape and what this means for regional businesses.

“As the UK workforce continues to evolve post-pandemic, it’s essential that we have the very best talent in place to help support clients in an area of tax and compliance that can often be complex and confusing for businesses.”

According to BDO’s recent Rethinking the Economy survey of 500 mid-sized businesses, 37% of Yorkshire businesses believe that payroll taxes are the most difficult and time consuming to comply with and administer – higher than customs duty and VAT.

Simms said: “As HMRC rightly focuses its efforts on workers’ statutory pay entitlement reviews, including NMW, holiday pay, and sickness pay, my time and attention will be spent on ensuring our clients do not fall foul of these confusing and often contradictory pay governance regulations.

“The continued push for a more flexible/agile workforce brings with it a demand for real-time compensation, which will require employers to pay their workforce more frequently. Unfortunately, by satisfying their employees, companies will be putting greater strain on their payroll systems and payroll teams who are the last defence in ensuring they are a HMRC compliant taxpayer.”

He added: “I’m really excited to be joining BDO - a growing firm that truly cares about its clients and the role it plays in society, as well as the investment it makes in its people, quality, and the important role of technology in how we deliver first rate services.”