Case Study: Preparing a leading oil & gas solutions provider for IR35

21 April 2023

Here we explain how Stork Technical Services worked with Workwell Enterprise to support compliance with IR35.


Drawing on 150 years of experience in a variety of engineering disciplines, Stork Technical Services is the expert provider of asset integrity management services to the oil and gas, power, and chemical sectors. Though the company is headquartered in Utrecht in the Netherlands, they operate worldwide.

Based in Aberdeen, Stork’s UK company specialises in supporting the oil and gas industry. Primarily, this area of the business undertakes maintenance work on offshore installations, and they also deliver onshore services such as plant hire and inspections.

Inevitably, Stork has to engage contractors to fulfil large projects, providing global coverage throughout 17 regional centres – each covering a number of countries. Within these regions, Stork employs more than 17,000 people, with around 10% – 20% being contractors. While these numbers can vary from month to month, the process of assessing each individual contract is an impossible task.


The challenge

The oil and gas industry is a fast-paced, not to mention unpredictable, environment, which requires a certain degree of flexibility within Stork’s workforce. Due to the ever-evolving nature of their industry, Stork needed a speedy and accurate solution to conducting IR35 Status Determination assessments. The team undertook a detailed exploration of a number of options and found that IR35 Shield was the best for their business.

However, as a company that deals primarily in oil and gas rather than payroll, Stork required additional services alongside IR35 Shield – namely an advisory service that would allow them to properly engage with the software. That’s where Workwell Enterprise came into play.


The strategy

Stork was initially introduced to Workwell via the now-defunct Offshore Contractors Association. When they first reached out to Workwell Enterprise Managing Director Andrew Webster, they’d already decided that they would incorporate IR35 Shield into their screening process. Next, they had to settle on the relevant policies and procedures that needed to be implemented to satisfy HMRC. Both parties agreed that Stork would benefit from a compliance audit to ensure they were taking reasonable care in their approach, and to indicate any weaknesses in their existing set-up.

“As experts on off-payroll, Workwell was able to effectively prepare Stork for the enforcement of off-payroll. We examined the culture throughout the business and spoke to hiring managers to develop a comprehensive understanding of what was needed – helping Stork address key issues while attracting top talent.”

– Andrew Webster, Managing Director at Workwell Enterprise.


The solution

CEST simply wasn’t suitable for what Stork was trying to achieve as a business. But a blend of accessing a compliant status platform, plus the added support of Workwell’s expertise, has proved transformative. In practice, it allows clients and contractors to collaboratively complete each assessment. Upon completion, it produces a Status Determination Certificate with a detailed explanation of how each answer has impacted the final outcome – reassuring clients that we have a robust and fully compliant process for engaging contractors through limited companies.

Paul Marshall, Tax Manager at Stork, expressed that one of the key benefits of partnering with Andrew’s team at Workwell was their approachability and responsiveness to any issues. As well as hosting a bi-weekly project meeting with a knowledgeable expert, they also check in with Stork regarding any HMRC updates – providing a full-service consultation.

“Andrew and the team are highly competent in delivering practical solutions that really work. The team is extremely friendly, and there’s absolutely no bureaucracy – more often than not, a quick phone call can solve any problem. You’ll struggle to find anybody who is better than Workwell.”

– Paul Marshall, Tax Manager at Stork.

The results

Ultimately, Workwell’s support has enabled Stork to save valuable time and energy that can now be concentrated elsewhere in the business.

As both parties work together to improve accuracy and efficiency in Stork’s off-payroll compliance operations, Workwell will continue to operate a consultative approach, providing in-depth knowledge and commercial solutions when necessary.

Need help?

Find out more about Workwell Enterprise and how we can help solve your compliance headaches.


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