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About Us

Who we are

Founded in 2012, Sheldon Phillips is a niche Social Work recruitment agency supplying both locum and permanent staff into the Qualified Social Work sector.

With nearly 15 years experience in the Social Care sector, we focus our time on you. Your job search is personal and everyone is different, so our consultants are trained to ensure your job search is as unique as you are.

Not looking for a job right now? Our team are highly trained to deal with any questions you have, even if you just want some advice on where your career can go. From first year students, to experienced Heads of Service, we are here to answer any questions you might have.

  • Social Work

    Social Work

    Becoming a Qualified Social Worker can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. As a job a...

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Approved by hundreds of candidates and clients for our personal service

​I have been quite picky with my search and Rhys was able to find me something that I wanted. Other recruiters in my experience would try to expand the search but Rhys and the staff at Sheldon Phillips were respectful of what I wanted and were patient and understanding. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a new role!

Social Worker

My consultant is Rhys and ​I have found all the staff at Sheldon Phillips to be really helpful at all times. They are personable and interested in getting me the right role and ensuring I continue to be happy in that role. If you want an agency that feels a bit like a family, or at the very least a group of really solid and nice people who are invested in your wellbeing and happiness, choose Sheldon Phillips.

Social Worker

​"This has been my first experience of working via an agency such as Sheldon Phillips; needless to say I was somewhat apprehensive leaving a permanent social work position. However from my initial enquiry with Jamie to gaining successful employment with my very first interview has been a very smooth transition. Jamie has been excellent throughout the process, which was also aided by meeting him in person as opposed to conducting all of the required business via the Internet.So thanks Jamie and keep up the high standards you have set."

Social Worker

​"As a Newly qualified graduate, I initially struggled to find work in my chosen field. From the moment I signed up with Jamie at Sheldon Phillips, I have been very pleased with the dedication and care taken in matching me up with a suitable role. As a result of this, I have gained employment through Sheldon Phillips within a short space of time in a field I am really working happy to work in."

Newly Qualified Social Worker

​"Dominic Joyce, without a doubt understands the needs of the service and goes to great lengths to ensure candidates are selected to the quality needed to deliver a good and outstanding Safeguarding service. In my experience Dominic works long hours and has gone above and beyond to ensure our children’s service is supported and the right candidates are sourced. Dominic is unique in that he understands the impact on vulnerable children of recruiting good quality frontline social workers and ensures they are supported and matched with the right employer. It is for this reason I am always delighted to receive...

Service Manager

News & BLOGS

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Social Work   Flexible Working Blog
To be, or not to be…flexible

​To be, or not to be...flexibleTo say that the last 18 months have been difficult is probably the biggest faux pas since our very own Prime Minister quoted Kermit The Frog recently at a UN climate change conference. “It’s not easy being green” will now forever in my mind be linked to that awkward silence often attributed to a bad joke told by the best man at a wedding.The pandemic has changed the way that we work exponentially and in some ways for the better. For years as recruiters, we have tried to convince our clients to embrace technology and conduct video interviews to make processes more efficient and the fact we all had to lock down and limit contact with others has led to this monumental change. For Social Workers, this has opened up the opportunity to work from home, using video calls to attend meetings as and when needed; introducing a much more flexible lifestyle – something Social Workers have never been used to.As the UK vaccination program hit its peak and with far less impact on hospitalisations and deaths compared with 12 months ago, Local Authorities are now slowly starting to open up their doors again, bringing with it the question – stick or twist? Do they continue to be flexible and allow home working where possible, or do they bring everyone back into the office like its 2019 again?The answer is that most, if not all authorities are adopting a hybrid model, a rota style system to allow Social Workers to enjoy the best of both worlds, because lets face it, we are creatures of habit and we need social interaction. The jobs market is still as buoyant as ever and after a summer that has seen a huge jump in annual leave being taken, things are starting to settle and more candidates are deciding to make their moves before the darker nights settle in.​Are you happy with your new way of working? Speak to our experienced team to discuss your options and find the new role you deserve.

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Social Workers - Unsung Heroes

Social Workers - Unsung Heroes​In general, Social Workers get a bad reputation in the media, but in this day and age with Social Media being such a big influence in many people’s lives, there are countless ways that social workers and us as professionals working in the sector can sing the praises of what you do every single day. As a sector I think we need to get better at saying “I’ve done a great job here” for this young person or familyI’ve been working with social workers for nearly 12 years and I’ve lost count of the many stories of positive outcomes for children and families that have been shared with me when meeting professionals. I am in a privileged position to hear these stories but unfortunately the general public only hear the negative stories. They don’t see you in the office until late in the evening trying to complete those court reports or taking a child out for a bite to eat. They don’t understand or recognise the fact that as a Social Worker, you put your own life on hold sometimes to help those that need you most.In 2018, Channel 4 aired the drama series “Kiri” to mixed reviews. Of course, the negative reaction towards social work raised it’s ugly head yet again however there was a really lovely moment for “Miriam” (Sarah Lancaster) when she was faced with four young people who she had helped as younger children. They all had the same message: I am who I am today, because of you and we are so grateful for that. I think it would be brilliant to see more stories like this in Social Work publications and across Social Media in general.The COVID19 pandemic tested us as a nation. It tested our resolve, our freedoms and it tested and stretched our basic human be close to others. However, as a sector, Social Workers, their managers, front line workers were all pushed to limits and boundaries we never thought possible. So from me personally and from our team, thank you for all of your hard work each and every day.

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Uncompliant Umbrella Companies: A Change in Law

​Uncompliant Umbrella Companies: A Change in Law​Uncompliant ModelsWhen the IR35 changes were made in the public sector in April 2017, many public sector workers including lots of Social Workers felt that a huge weight had been put onto their shoulders.  The weight of HMRC trying to make up a huge void in unpaid or avoided tax which was created in part by the confusion around IR35 and running a PSC when it was first introduced in 2000.  After months of finding their feet, after these changes, another very real threat has emerged - Umbrella Companies appearing as if by magic, offering the holy grail.....90% take home pay!  Now you might be thinking, "Yes! My prayers have been answered!" but believe me, this couldn't be further from the truth.Most people know, or should, that the UK basic rate of tax is 20% and so the more you earn, that banding moves into a higher rate of tax.  So how on earth can an Umbrella Company tell me I only have to pay 10% tax?  One answer......Tax Avoidance.  These schemes come in many forms with "grey areas" and "loop holes" touted to try and uphold their compliance with HMRC.  The truth is, if you are using an Umbrella Company that pays you a small hourly rate or weekly wage, which is then topped up by a bonus, commission or even a loan - you could be in trouble.  If any of this sound familiar, head over the HMRC website and search "Spotlight" where you can find more information.The safest way to work and ensure that you are paying the correct taxes (and avoid a tax bills and penalties) is to use an FCSA accredited Umbrella Company.  These Umbrella's have been audited to ensure they are making the right decisions and that you pay all of the right taxes to the Government.  Here at Sheldon Phillips, we have created a small PSL of FCSA accredited Umbrella companies, so you can be sure that whatever money you take home at the end of the week, is yours to spend without fear of any wrong doing.A Change in the LawYou may have noticed that Recruitment Agencies have recently started to create PSL's of Umbrella Companies and have even asked you to change your current Umbrella.  This is because from 30th September 2017 a new criminal offense: Failing to prevent Tax Evasion was introduced.  Simply put, and without getting into too much legal jargon, this focuses on Recruitment Agencies or intermediary's in the chain to ensure that the contractor is paying the correct tax and national insurance contributions.  So in short, if an agency allow you to knowingly use a provider that evades paying correct taxes, they can be subject to huge fines and even a prison sentence!Our StanceAt Sheldon Phillips, we have taken the decision to create a small PSL of FCSA accredited Umbrella Companies, to ensure that all of our contractors are safe in knowing that all of the correct deductions are being made.  This list has been created through years of good service and plenty of due diligence done by Managing Director, Jamie Trick.  So when you work with us, you can sleep soundly, knowing that you are 100% compliant, 100% of the time.

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IR35 - The Facts

Explanation of the new IR35 Legislation, our thoughts and what Sheldon Phillips are doing to help you with the new changes.Following a lengthy consultation period in August of 2016, HMRC have confirmed that their planned legislation change to IR35 will go ahead, taking effect on 6th April 2017. Sheldon Phillips have been heavily involved with the consultation meetings with HMRC and our industry body, the REC. As well as a written letter to HMRC, we also took the opportunity to directly write to the Chancellor of The Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Education and Child Protection. You may have seen our letter on our website and also on Linkedin. In short, anyone falling “inside IR35 legislation” will be subject to deemed employment dedications which will be made by the entity that pays the worker using their own Ltd Company (PSC) which in most cases will be the Recruitment Agency, i.e. Sheldon Phillips. Off Payroll Explained Off payroll describes anyone who is paid out side of normal PAYE processes; so anyone using their own Limited Company (PSC) would be categorized under this term.Current ProcessUnder the current legislation, the liability to pay all deemed employment taxes falls on the Ltd Company – Income Tax, National Insurance and Employers NI contributions. If you fall outside of IR35, you would traditionally take a lower salary via payroll and then take dividends from the company, therefore paying less tax. Falling inside IR35 means that your income is deemed as employed income, therefore income tax, etc should be paid to HMRC in the normal way. HMRC estimate there are more than 200,000 Limited Company’s in the UK and by their own admission, cannot allocate enough resource to investigate whether each company is operating in the correct way.​Moving ForwardFrom April 6th 2017 when the new legislation is introduced, HMRC will move the liability to make deemed employment payments for workers operating their own Ltd Company to the entity who pays the invoice; Sheldon Phillips. There are a number of criteria that would place a worker within IR35 legislation but the main parameters for this would be if the worker is providing a personal service, if they are subject to supervision, direction and control and also the right to provide a substitute. Due to the Professional code of practice and criteria from both BASW and the HCPC it is our belief that all social workers will be subject to the new changes within IR35 legislation. Receiving supervision or working in a controlled way is something all social workers are subject to and as a contractor, you cannot simply send a substitute worker to carry on with your allocated cases should you not be able to attend work in your assignment. That person would be subject to an interview process, compliance checks and it would not provide continuity or stability to the service users of the authority, therefore it would not be accepted.Local Authorities and MSP’s In the coming weeks, once official communication has been received by HMRC, Local Authorities and MSP’s (Matrix, REED, De Poel) will need to decide on their own action regarding these changes and in some cases, may mean that using a PSC (Ltd Company) will simply not be allowed. Other options available will be to use a compliant Umbrella Company and for your agency to put you through their own PAYE processes. In practice, going through agency PAYE will dramatically reduce your hourly rate and so it is our understanding that you will be better off using a compliant Umbrella Company, through which you will be eligible for employment rights like holiday pay, sick pay, etc. Our Commitment To You To ensure that these changes are handled correctly and to avoid any disruption to your assignments, we at Sheldon Phillips are here to help guide you through every step of the way. We will be arranging an event in London for all of our Social Workers to attend, along with any colleagues who would be interested to talk about the legislation face to face and provide you with viable options for compliant Umbrella Companies. There will be a dedicated Q&A section to try and put any concerns you have to rest, so you can concentrate on your busy working lives. This will be communicated shortly via email, our website and on Linkedin.

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Image 2021 06 15 T03 14 25

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At Sheldon Phillips, we pride ourselves on our personal service for both candidates and clients. We work differently to other agencies be getting to know you. Listening is our best skill because we want to hear what you have to say!