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ContractorCalculator: Contracting news in brief – 15/July/2016

Contractor clients express strong opposition to IR35 proposals

Contractor clients are unanimous in their opposition to proposed public sector IR35 reforms, a new report from HMRC shows. The report, compiled to assess the implications of the changes for contractor clients, highlights numerous concerns relating to the impact on flexibility and business costs for firms. In addition, the requirement to test contract staff on an ongoing basis is perceived to result in a huge administrative and financial burden for organisations who consider HMRC to be simply ‘passing the buck’ onto them. Growing concerns over an eventual private sector roll-out were also compounded by the report which sought feedback from both public and private sector organisations. More...

HMRC IR35 tool ‘doomed to failure’, expert claims

HMRC is trying to achieve the unachievable in developing an online IR35 test that provides a binary answer as to whether or not each user is caught by the legislation. HMRC announced its plan for an online tool after proposing public sector IR35 reforms in the 2016 Budget, but ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin claims the taxman’s outlook is too simplistic: “The finest legal minds in the last 17 years haven’t been able to boil down decades of employment case law into a questionnaire that provides a binary result. How HMRC is going to achieve this in time for April 2017 is anybody’s guess.” More...

Help us fight new IR35 reforms by taking this survey!

ContractorCalculator needs your help in fighting proposed public sector IR35 reforms that could soon affect all contractors, by completing a short survey. HMRC intends to shift the responsibility for determining the IR35 status of public sector contractors over to ill-informed, often risk-averse, engagers and agencies by April 2017. This would see many contractors unjustly forced onto a payroll, with experts anticipating a private sector roll-out would swiftly follow. Contractors can help add to the body of evidence opposing this regime, and put themselves in with a chance of winning £200 worth of Amazon vouchers in the process, by taking this 60-second questionnaire. More...

Contractor agency billings rose prior to Brexit vote

Contractor placements rose again in June as clients continued to favour contingent hires over permanent staff. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest Report on Jobs attributes the figures to uncertainty prior to the EU referendum, as permanent placements declined for the first time since September 2012. “Just like the financial crisis of 2008/9, the flexible workforce has stepped in and ensured that clients have access to the necessary skills they need in difficult circumstances,” notes ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “Once the dust settles, contractors will continue to play an integral part in helping the UK labour market bounce back.” More...

Contractors to benefit from innovative new jobs platform

Contractors will soon have more time to ‘do what they do best’ thanks to the emergence of an innovative new recruitment platform. FreelanceDiary turns the traditional jobs board model on its head by shifting the onus onto the client to find the contractor, ultimately speeding up the recruitment process. The platform provides contractors with a smart diary app where they can manage their bookings and indicate their availability for work. “It transforms freelancers’ availability into opportunity, enabling employers to find available talent instantly,” comments FreelanceDiary CEO Richard Jeffs. “Contractors can now focus on the things they do best, without the worry of missed opportunities.” More...

Oil and gas trade union calls for emergency summit to rescue industry

A trade body has called for an emergency meeting to “hammer out an action plan to save the offshore oil and gas industry”, Energy Voice reports. Unite national officer Tony Devlin has pointed towards declining pay rates and opportunities as evidence that action is required to rescue contractor prospects, after branding the Government’s plan to shift oil and gas contractors into the wider engineering sector woefully inadequate”. “We will not secure a future for the UK’s oil and gas industry unless key decision makers come together to formulate an action plan for the industry,” notes Devlin. More...

Contracting stakeholders call on incoming PM to retain access to single market

Contracting stakeholders say incoming Prime Minister Theresa May should keep contractors and small businesses in mind when negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU, reports Recruiter. “She must ensure that smaller firms’ interests are taken into account,” comments Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry. “Simple access to the single market, continued EU funding for key schemes and clarity on the future regulatory framework.” “Ensuring employers can access the people they need to succeed must be top of the list for the new administration,” adds REC director of policy Tom Hadley. More...

ONS report attributes UK economy recovery to contractor workforce growth

Contractors have been lauded in a new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). ‘Trends in self-employment in the UK: 2001 to 2015’ describes the surge in self-employment since 2008 as being ‘among the defining characteristics of the UK’s economic recovery’. Lorence Nye, economic policy adviser at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), suggests the report should act as a call-to-action for the incoming Government: “We need strong new policies to boost the vital competitive edge that is provided by our flexible labour market.” More...

Contractors contribute to surge in new UK companies

Limited company contractors are amongst the record number of entrepreneurs starting new companies in 2016. The Telegraph cites research from StartUp Britain, which shows that 342,927 new businesses were registered with Companies House over the first half of the year. This equates to 80 new companies being formed every hour and leaves 2016 on course to surpass the 608,110 companies registered in 2015, itself a record. “Entrepreneurship is a personal endeavour and there will always be risk and uncertainties,” notes Matt Smith of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. “But there’s been no slowdown in business formation – entrepreneurs by their nature will rise to the challenge.” More...

Government advised to look towards contractor expertise to secure trade deals

The Government has been advised to tap into the expertise of UK contractors in its bid to secure new international trade deals following the announcement that it is seeking 300 specialist staff. “They should start with entrepreneurs that have opened with businesses in all those countries,” highlights Tony Goodwin, chairman of global recruiter Antal International. “I mean people who have actually pioneered and done it themselves, who haven’t had the luxury and comfort of being able to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on research and market testing.” More...

Published: 15 July 2016

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