We’re hiring! Projects Officer at Scroll

Scroll Projects Officer: job description

Please note: this position is now filled.

We’re Scroll: a content consultancy with a core team of 7 employees and a network of 250 content consultants (‘Scrollies’, as we call them). And we are looking for a new Projects Officer.

As a member of our Projects Team, you would have responsibility for looking after Scrollies, liaising with a vast range of clients, and working closely with the rest of the team. You’d be able to work remotely and part-time.

The deadline for applications is midnight on 14th October: we look forward to hearing from you.

About the role and about Scroll

You will need strong communication skills, as you will be working constantly with clients and Scrollies. Excellent written skills are essential in order to communicate effectively and appropriately over email and the various remote channels that Scroll uses. You will be required to take the lead, make quick decisions and be confident in your ability to ‘think on your feet’.

You will be working very closely with Hetty, the Director of Scroll, as well as the rest of the Projects Team. There is a lot of admin as well as liaison work, so you must be proficient in this and happy to take a proactive role in managing the team’s admin.

Scroll is a small company and we work together very closely. You will need to be flexible and willing to ‘muck in’ and share tasks as they arise – for example, to provide cover when people are ill or on holiday and to get involved in many aspects of running the business. It’s an opportunity to develop a range of activities and skills and learn quickly.

We all support each other and are in constant communication via tools like Trello and Slack – so even though we don’t have a central office and work physically together, you’ll feel part of a team.

Scroll prides itself on being friendly and open and is a company that places people first – something that we try to apply across every aspect of our business.

Location and hours

You will be working remotely, so you can be based anywhere. In non-Covid times, we meet 3 0r 4 times a year in central London (team meetings, Scroll socials and meetings with our clients).

As a fully remote worker, it is your responsibility to provide the tools required to work, ie. PC, access to fast broadband and phone line, etc.

Your role is to be fulfilled across 5 days of the week, Monday to Friday and within the hours of 9am – 6pm. We anticipate needing 3 to 4 days per week, quite possibly full time if we win a big project we’ve tendered for recently.

At least one member of the Projects Team is required to be working within the above hours, every day of the week; therefore please mention any constraints you may have in relation to your working pattern when sending us your application.

We may well need more support during school holidays, so there may be the option to work additional days during those periods and other busy times.

Salary

This is an employed position, with a salary of £32,000 pro rata. There will be a probation period of 6 months.

Key responsibilities

  • Updating all progress on projects and the Scrollies working on them on the relevant spreadsheets
  • Being the main point of liaison for any clients and Scrollies that are assigned to you.
  • Looking after the process for new roles from start to finish, eg sourcing suitable Scrollies, liaising with clients, arranging interviews, notifying successful Scrollies, including:
    • formatting CVs
    • writing contracts 
    • undertaking the necessary security clearance checks and vetting requirements
    • ensuring Scrollies and clients are contacted at specific points in the project, to ensure that Scroll is up to date and prepared and that all parties are happy with progress.
  • Keeping regular contact with past Scrollies as well as current ones, eg by ensuring that mailing lists and various data-containing spreadsheets are up to date
  • Checking the shared inboxes at least every hour on your assigned time 
  • Fielding queries from clients and Scrollies to the right person in the Scroll team
  • Listening to voicemail and dealing  / forwarding to specific member of the team
  • Documenting any changes and new procedures for future use
  • Writing references for Scrollies
  • Welcoming new starters and completing Scroll’s induction process for them, including reference checks, security vetting, timesheet and pay information

Essential skills

  • Proficiency in IT, including Excel, Word, Google docs
  • Experience with using collaboration tools eg Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Zoom
  • Organisational skills and ability to manage deadlines
  • Experience of client liaison
  • Communication and interpersonal skills, with a good level of English, so as to write accurate and respectful emails to clients and Scrollies in a clear and succinct style
  • A methodical approach and problem-solving skills, with the ability to anticipate and provide a suggested solution rather than just asking questions – thereby saving clients’ and our time.
  • Self-motivation
  • Team-working ability
  • Skill in following and designing admin processes – and an appetite for seeing things through

Bonus skills

  • Experience of Powerpoint
  • Experience of using a CMS/ building a basic website eg. using WordPress

How to apply

Please submit a CV and a summary of up to 250 words to projects@scroll.co.uk, outlining why you’re suitable for this role. Please also let us know where you’re based and what internet and remote or home office setup you’ve got.

We will be assessing suitable candidates by written tests and online interviews.

About Scroll

Scroll is a small company with a core team of 7 employees and a network of 250 associates, who work on our clients’ projects. We tender for work for our central-government clients, who form 80% of our accounts. The rest is charities and universities, and occasionally private-sector clients (finance, healthcare).

We are content specialists working on digital projects. We don’t do print work, and we don’t design the look and feel of how content is laid out, as we focus on content itself and the strategy behind it (eg how best to work out how content should fit into a website so it meets users’ needs and helps them to find important information easily, be it using their laptop, tablet or phone).

We’ve been in business since 2004 and are established enough and lucky enough to be able to be picky about what projects we take on, so we don’t have to compromise our preferences for responsible, socially valuable work.

A lot of our work involves translating government policy into content that’s accessible to users so they can find the information they need to know easily – be that rules they have to follow to comply with the law (farmers, school leaders) or perform the transactions they need to do quickly (eg start a power of attorney, apply for a driving licence, check how to export goods).

We operate on relatively slim margins through not having offices and high overheads, in order to offer good value for money to our clients (and the taxpayer) and also to be able to pay Scrollies – as we call our content specialists – good rates, thereby attracting and retaining the best people.

Latest news in content: Spring 2017

A round-up of the best advice, thinking, tools and news in content. This has all appeared in the fortnightly Scroll newsletter. (Sign up on the right, never miss out again…)

News, thought pieces, advice

Structured content saves lives
US doctors had to use a huge reference book when they diagnosed cancer. This case study explains how a digital team turned that reference book into interoperable digital content, accessible via APIs. Amazing piece of work.

Q: What’s a ‘UX writer’?
A: The private sector name for a content designer.

Design patterns for trust and consent
Digital is losing people’s trust. We need to get better at this.

GOV.UK taxonomy in beta
This is a sea change in the way GOV.UK content is organised. We’d love your thoughts on this – tweet us @ScrollUK using #taxonomybeta.

Much smarter marketing
Quite a long read but rammed with fascinating stuff about how to get people’s attention, digitally.

Practical tips and ‘how-tos’

Get the bullets right
A satisfyingly detailed article about how to use bullet points effectively.

How to use a content model
A step-by-step walk through designing and using your own content model.

Writing for translation
By a Google content guru. This shows how much worse badly written content gets after it’s translated. (Trigger warning: may make you feel retrospective guilt if you’ve ever written anything that was translated into Thai.)

Design your own chatbot
Excellent 4-part series about using IA to design chatbots. It’s not an in-depth guide but it’ll give you a couple of ‘Aha!’ moments as you see traditional content strategy tools being deployed in chatbot world.

User research: small-ish is beautiful
Definitive answers to the perennial ‘how many people is enough?’ question for doing qualitative user research. (Hint: about 5.)

Tools

Community thesaurus
Folksonomy-style thesaurus. Lovely little tool if you’re lost for words.

And finally…

Fiendish UX quiz
Do you know your Pantone Colour of the Year from your therblings? Prove it here!

IR35 and what it might mean for content designers

New IR35 legislation comes into force

I’m a partner at Scroll, where we’ve been hard at work sorting through the implications of the new IR35 legislation.

This is a personal interpretation of the new IR35 rules and existing employment ones. I thought it might help to set them out, to order my thoughts and invite you to comment if your own experience has led you to different conclusions.

I’m neither a lawyer nor an accountant, so don’t take this blog as advice!

IR35 – what you should do

IR35: the big date in my calendar is 6 April 2017. Or rather, 5 April, because everything must be done by then. I’ll need a holiday on 6 April…

These are the things I’d suggest doing.

Review your contracts

Review all contracts you have that are still live (you’d be surprised: you may find that a contract you stopped working on a while ago is still ‘live’ as it still has time to run on it – eg if you work through an agency). Request to end all contracts that currently have end dates later than 5 April and start new ones on or after 6 April.

Take the HMRC IR35 test

Take the HMRC IR35 test, record the results, and share them with the next person in the chain above you (the body that pays you). If you’re paid by your own limited company or PSC (personal service company), you will want to share it with whoever pays your company or PSC as well (so in the case of contractors working with Scroll, send it to me!) Keep the results of the test for your files in case you’re ever investigated by HMRC, and take the test regularly (at least every time you sign a contract extension or a new contract).

Look at insurance

Consider taking out insurance against tax investigations.

What does the new IR35 legislation mean?

Under IR35, if HMRC have reason to believe they’re not receiving all the taxes they’re entitled to (eg employer’s National Insurance) because you ought to be an employee on payroll rather than a contractor, they can ask for back payment on projects for the duration of the contract, including pre-6 April. That’s why it’s best to end current contracts and start new contracts on or after 6 April.

Do the new IR35 rules apply to you?

At the moment, the new IR35 rules apply only to work done for end-clients who are in the public sector.

By end-clients I mean the people for whom you perform the work – the owners of the websites and content you work on.

In many contracting chains or situations there’s an overlap with employment rules, so it’s worth reviewing all contracts not only for IR35 (and the question of who pays tax and how much) but also to make sure that you are indeed a contractor and would be considered such by HMRC.

How to work out if you’re an employee or a contractor

You probably ought to be an employee if you meet a number of the following.

  • You’ve only one client and you work with them so many days every month that you’ve not got time to work for other clients.
  • Your contract has lasted 2 years.
  • Your contract has been renewed on a rolling basis.
  • You work fixed hours and in-house.
  • You’re treated as one of the staff, eg you get invited to away-days/team building exercises and take part in training for free.
  • You use the office’s subsidised canteen.
  • You review other people’s performance.
  • You manage people
  • You have little control over how you do your work.

How to test for employment

There’s a good IR35 compliance testing tool which is free to use (see the resources section at the end). It’s not an official test but it’s useful as the comments are clear.

You can’t use it as proof, only to guide your own thinking. It lists many more factors than I’ve done above – the ones I’ve mentioned are just the ones I’ve noticed as being the most common among Scrollies. You can also use the HRMC tool to check for employment status.

If you think you ought to be employed you should talk to your client about employing you, go through an umbrella company, or set up a limited company to trade through (if you’ve not done so already) and revise your ways of working so that you are truly operating as a contractor.

How to test for IR35

Take the HMRC employment status for tax test and answer it not in relation to your contract but in terms of how you actually work.

That’s what counts. An investigation would look beyond your contract up through the chain of contracts (eg if there’s an intermediary like an agency along the way) and would look especially at your working practices.

Your contract can go straight in the shredder if it’s not borne out by your working practices.

If the test says you’re outside IR35, then that’s good; make sure you continue to work in a way that is outside IR35. You’d be wise to retake the HMRC test regularly and file the results in case of an investigation. (Further down the page I’ve listed a few things you might want to ask your end-client to allow you to do and that you may want to include in your contract too.)

Alternatively, you could choose to go ‘inside IR35’ and go on the payroll. You can do this, either as an employee of your client (the agency or consultancy that you invoice every month, eg Scroll, and that holds a contract with the public-body end-client). You could also do this via an umbrella company. Your take-home rate would be lower but you can at least be sure that HMRC will be receiving its full and accurate share of taxes.

Actions that might help you work outside IR35

Here are a few things you might want to ask your end-client to allow you to do. You may want to include these in your contract, too.

Don’t be just an extra pair of hands

Rather than engaging your services generally (eg to stop a temporary gap in the project team’s staff) clients should be drawing on your expertise to complete specific tasks. They’re being called ‘work packages’ or ‘deliverables’. Ensure your contract includes them. You may well need to help to draft them yourself.

Delegate to a substitute where necessary

To be a true contractor you need the chance and flexibility to build your network and keep it sweet. You may need to juggle a contract that’s just starting with another that you’re completing. So, you may well need to work remotely or delegate your work to someone who’s suitably qualified in order to free you up.

Check your contract has clauses around substitution. Above all, discuss this with your clients. You may want to line up your substitute now so that any security issues can be sorted ahead of time.

Explain things to your end-client
Explain why you need flexibility as a contractor: hours, location, using your own equipment and email address. Emphasise the differences between contractors and staff to your clients and explain what the benefits are to engaging contractors (no overheads, expertise in short bursts, low risk, legacy of handover and training, etc.)

Things could change!

Watch out! The rules around liability and IR35 are confusing and might change again soon. The onus to declare a role as being inside or outside IR35 falls on the end-client for now (eg a government department). However, what they say is only to be interpreted as a recommendation: it isn’t binding.

The liability to ensure the declaration of IR35 status is correct could fall on the agency that engages your services or even on your own limited company as the next in the chain from you.

Everyone’s being cautious about IR35 – and you should too

I’ve noticed that everyone at every stage of the chain is being cautious, and rightly so. Even if an end-client isn’t responsible for ensuring you pay the right amount of tax, they won’t want egg on their faces if exposed as having engaged the services of someone who’s not paying their taxes correctly.

Agencies and consultancies like Scroll are being very cautious in case the blame falls on them, and you should be careful too!

Enough from me, I’m going back to revising a few more contracts. Good luck, and let me know if any of what I’ve written rings true (or not).

Resources

We are a Living Wage EmployerCrown Commercial Service SupplierCPD certified

© Scroll