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ContractorCalculator: Contracting news in brief – 01/June/2012

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Public sector contractors may face tax deductions by clients enforcing new rules

Contractors with public sector clients and found to be in a ‘controlling role’ could be facing deductions at source and enforcement of new ‘controlling person’ rules by clients. In his analysis of the government’s proposed rules for AccountingWeb, John Stokdyk reports that the responsibility for deducting income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) would fall on the client. HMRC would ensure the proposed rules were being enforced by clients during ‘risk-based employer compliance visits’. More…

‘Off-payroll’ rules will deliver government and taxpayers a lose-lose-lose situation

The new ‘off-payroll’ rules forcing public sector contractors onto the civil service payroll will only deliver a lose-lose-lose situation for government and taxpayers. Contractors on average rates may lose up to £9,232 a year, according to figures from Such a loss would undoubtedly persuade many to seek contracts outside the public sector, resulting in massive disruption to key public services delivery projects. Many of those contractors remaining, or being subsequently recruited, may lack the skills and experience of their predecessors, putting public services delivery at risk. And the cost of retaining the best talent could rise to £15,395 a head, placing greater burdens on taxpayers. More…

Six in ten contractor clients have cut agency worker hiring due to AWR

Contractor recruitment continues to be harmed by the Agency Workers Regulations, according to the Spring Confederation of British Industry (CBI)/Harvey Nash Employment Trends Survey. The report shows that nearly half of clients have been affected by the introduction of the Agency Workers Directive in October 2011. Of these, nearly six in ten firms have reduced their use of agency workers, preferring to employ temporary workers on fixed-term contracts or to use other contracting/temp models.

Engineers and IT staff in top five of global talent demand league table

Engineering and IT contractors are in demand across the global economy, according to the Manpower 2010 Talent Shortage Survey. Engineers, particularly mechanical, electrical and civil engineers, are the second most in-demand category, after skilled trades in first place. IT contractors are the fifth most in-demand category, suggesting that the shortage of workers in the sector is not restricted to the UK. The most cited reason for talent shortages is that clients simply cannot find enough candidates in their local labour markets. This suggests that contractors willing to travel in the UK or work abroad need never be out of contract. More…(PDF)

Existing recruitment models failing to connect contractors with clients

With a fifth of all UK professional and associate professional roles unfilled, existing recruitment models are failing to connect contractors and clients. This is the conclusion of Elevate managing director Dan Collier, who tells ContractorCalculator that contractors are increasingly dissatisfied with their treatment at the hands of recruiters: “Those contractors who hold highly sought-after skills, qualifications and experience…find existing recruitment models time intensive, inefficient and generally highly unsatisfactory.” More…

HMRC releases new tax app for PAYE contractors

HMRC has released a new tax app that calculates income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) based on gross salary. The app can calculate taxes on salaries up to £100,000 for contractors working via an umbrella company, fixed-term contract or agency payroll. It is also valid for limited company contractors inside IR35 who pay themselves a salary. In addition to calculating taxes, the app provides breakdowns of what contractors’ taxes are actually spent on. The app is available from the iTunes app store (HMRC Tax Calc), Google Play and via HMRC’s website. More…

Positive news for retail contractors as distributive trades turn a corner

Contractors with retail sector clients may be looking at a more secure future as UK retailers forecast improved sales and business confidence. The latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey reports grocers, department stores and furniture and carpets as performing particularly well. These sectors might provide attractive markets for contractors, particularly as the survey reports increased hiring compared to a year ago. More...

New Scottish oil and gas strategy to push overseas opportunities for contractors

Contractors look set to benefit from a new strategy targeting higher exports and innovation in the oil and gas sector. The strategy, coordinated by the Scottish overseas trade development agency Scottish Development International (SDI), will target key emerging markets such as Brazil, Norway and West Africa. The target is to reach £18bn in export sales of oil and gas products and services by 2020, which would lead to direct contract opportunities for contractors. More…

Contractor car fuel allowances remain unchanged despite volatile pump prices

Fuel allowances for contractors running company cars through their contractor limited companies will remain unchanged in the next quarter, despite major peaks in fuel prices in recent months. HMRC’s advisory fuel rates, the maximum rate per mile a contractor can claim as an expense without incurring additional tax charges, remain at 18 pence per mile for a two-litre petrol engine vehicle and 15 pence per mile for a two-litre diesel engine vehicle. HMRC revises the rates each quarter to take account of current pump prices, but short-term spikes in between its reviews can leave contractors out of pocket. More…

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012

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