Contractor Industry News

Self-employed help to strengthen UK labour market

Posted on 21st June 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn a recent report has revealed that much of the success of the labour market has been down to the self-employed sector.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) have responded to newly released employment statistics showing the continuing strength of the UK labour market since the financial crisis.

The number of self-employed in the UK has grown by 114,000. That means there are now 4.78 million self-employed people in the UK – a total of 15% of the workforce.

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Contractors and freelancers don't feel supported by government

Posted on 19th June 2017

With the outcome of the General Election still up in the air while Conservatives and the DUP continue to reach an agreement, a recent survey found that many contractors and freelancers are lacking in confidence when it comes to the government.

The research, compiled by Qdos Contractor surveyed 1356 UK freelancers and contractors before the General Election, and found that at the time, as many as 97% believed that the government didn't have their best interests at heart.

Despite this, 42% were still planning to vote Conservatives.

The rest of the survey found that:

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Small businesses being urged to protect against cybercrime could create opportunities for IT contractors

Posted on 14th June 2017

With the UK’s small businesses being warned of increasing cybercrime threat, this could very well open up opportunities for IT contractors with the right skills.

With the recent attack on NHS computer systems and the complete havoc it caused, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are urging UK firms to take action by protecting themselves from any possible cyber attacks.

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Contractor rates of pay rise significantly

Posted on 9th June 2017

Positive news for umbrella company contractors and other freelancers comes from the latest Markit / Recruitment and Employment Confederation's (REC) Report on Jobs.

Contractor and temp billings grew at a steeper pace and recorded the strongest rate of growth since March 2015, while hourly rates of pay also rose sharply. Furthermore, the increase in demand was the strongest seen since July 2015.

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NHSI pausing new ban on agency staff

Posted on 7th June 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the NHS will be pleased to learn that the new restriction set to come into place regarding agency staff, will be put on pause for the time being.

In a letter sent to NHS trust leaders, NHS Improvement (NHSI) has announced it is pausing until further notice its plans to ban trusts from using agency staff who also hold substantive roles in the NHS.

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Top job locations revealed in latest report

Posted on 6th June 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that a recent report has revealed the top 10 job locations across the UK.

Latest findings from CV-Library have shown that job opportunities increased a considerable amount last month, by 14.1%. These recent results perhaps suggest that business confidence remains high up and down the country.

Here are the top 10 locations where vacancies are on the increase:

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UK employers plan to increase contractor hiring

Posted on 5th June 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that many UK employers who have had difficulty filling vacancies have as a result increased the rates being offered.

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey of 600 employers found that in an attempt to attract candidates after failing with an initial advertisement, 80% of employers re-advertised the role.

It was also revealed that 19% of employers plan to increase their contractor headcount in the medium term, with 12% planning to do so in the short term.  

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Midland's manufacturing sector could create opportunities for IT professionals

Posted on 1st June 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the IT sector might be interested to learn that the positive attitudes coming from the Midland's manufacturing sector could very well increase job opportunities.

Findings from a recent Made in the Midlands Roundtable event looking at 'Manufacturing for the future, the Fourth Industrial Revolution', revealed that manufacturing businesses were optimistic about the opportunities technology developments are making to the sector.

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Employers should not ignore the rise of the 'gig-economy'

Posted on 26th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that a recent report has urged employers not to ignore the significant growth that has been seen recently in the gig-economy sector.

The advice, given by Alexander Mann Solutions has come as a direct response from Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends Study, where it was revealed that despite as many as 77% of permanent workers saying that they would consider working on a contract basis, HR leaders said that they don’t expect the gig-economy to have any sort of impact on their business over the next 24 months.

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UK IT jobs market saw a strong start to the year

Posted on 25th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the IT sector will be pleased to learn that the UK technology jobs market got off to a strong start in 2017.

Latest research from global IT industry body CompTIA revealed that job postings within the IT sector reached more than 365,000 in the first quarter of the year.

The number of IT positions advertised has increased by nearly 90,000 since the end of 2016, up from 275,679. This means that of the 2.7 million total job posts in this quarter, technology positions made up 14% of all listings.

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IPSE calls for a statutory definition of self-employment to end confusion

Posted on 24th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that the IPSE have called for a statutory definition of self-employment in order to ‘end confusion and ensure working for yourself is viewed as a positive, valuable way of working’.

Having appeared in front of one of Matthew Taylor’s panel sessions in March, IPSE has now submitted its official response to the Taylor Review of modern employment practices.

There are currently definitions in law for what it means to be an employee and what it means to be classified as a worker, but not for genuine self-employment.

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FCSA responds to Labour's plans to ban umbrella companies

Posted on 23rd May 2017

Contractors may have heard Labour's recent pledges with regards to umbrella companies.

The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has learned that Labour will clamp down on bogus self-employment by shifting the burden of proof of worker status so that the law assumes a worker is an employee unless the employer can prove otherwise and is also planning to ban umbrella companies if it wins the General Election on June 8th.

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Contractor billings grow significantly while permanent placements slow

Posted on 22nd May 2017

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to hear that the latest Markit/Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs has revealed positive news for the contracting sector.

According to the recent findings, growth in permanent staff placements slowed to its weakest for seven months during April, however, the contracting sector saw billings increase at a sharp and accelerated pace that was the fastest seen in 2017 so far.

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UK sees significant rise in temporary worker numbers

Posted on 19th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors will be interested to learn that a recent survey has revealed that during 2008-2015 the UK has seen the largest increase in self-employed professionals in the EU.

The Trade Union Congress research also found that Britain has seen the third biggest rise in the number of temporary workers in Europe.

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, commented, “The UK workforce is continuing to evolve, with more people than ever now choosing to work for themselves for part or all of their career.

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Manufacturing sector sees solid growth

Posted on 18th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the manufacturing sector will be interested to hear that the industry has seen solid growth over the last few months.

The recent Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) revealed the start of the second quarter saw a significant improvement in the performance of the UK manufacturing sector.

Rates of expansion in output, total new orders and new export work all gathered pace, underpinned by robust business confidence and driving further job creation.

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HR opportunities see significant growth

Posted on 17th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the HR sector will be interested to learn that opportunities within the sector have grown considerably.

The latest Robert Walters UK Jobs Index has found that job vacancies for those working in HR rose by as much as 25% in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to the same time in the previous year.

According to the findings, it is those with mid-level management roles who are the most in demand – HR manager roles make up 12% of all opportunities and those in executive level positions make up nine per cent.

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Accounting and finance skills in high demand

Posted on 9th May 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the accounting and finance sector will be pleased to learn that those with the right skills are seeing a significant increase in job opportunities.

According to the latest Robert Walters UK Index, job vacancies for accounting and finance professionals rose by 41% in the first quarter of 2017 alone.

Data revealed that it is the mid-level accounting roles that made up the highest percentage of vacancies at 14%, 10% for assistant accountants and seven per cent for finance managers.

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Lifetime ISA needs improving for self-employed

Posted on 3rd May 2017

The Association of Independent Professionals (IPSE) have called on the government to look at improving the Lifetime ISA (LISA) provision for those in self-employment.

The survey found that individuals needed to generate savings of £131 per month, from the age of 20, to secure a comfortable retirement pot.

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IT developers and engineers in high demand

Posted on 27th April 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the IT sector will be pleased to learn that demand is on the rise for those with the right skills.

Findings from a recent Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) report show that demand for IT professionals grew by almost 25% in the last two years. The insight, based on data from Vacancysoft, indicated that in addition to Development & Engineering professionals, IT Management and IT support roles are also in high demand, followed by IT Analysts and IT Infrastructure.

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Gig economy – is the UK ready?

Posted on 26th April 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that recent data has revealed that European employees appear ready to embrace the gig economy.

The findings, carried out by ADP – a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions show that as many as 63% of UK employees and 68% of European employees are interested in, or would consider self-employment or freelancing.

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Contractor billings picked up during March

Posted on 25th April 2017

Umbrella company contractors will be interested to learn that a recent survey has revealed positive news for the contracting community.

The latest Report on Jobs, compiled by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and Markit, found that growth in contractor billings picked up from February's four-month low and was sharper than seen on average during last year.

Data also showed that demand for self-employed workers remained robust.

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Tech firm’s growth plans could benefit IT professionals

Posted on 4th April 2017

IT contractors might be interested to learn that a recent survey has revealed that many tech firms are predicting further growth in 2017.

According to the latest findings from Smith & Williamson, as many as 74% of tech entrepreneurs and business leaders are looking to develop their firms, which could in turn result in more job opportunities for those with the right skills.

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Report suggesting self-employed have unfair tax advantage is 'ludicrous' says IPSE

Posted on 24th March 2017

A recent report carried out by the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) has suggested that the UK's self-employed workforce have an unfair advantage compared to permanent staff with regards to tax benefits.

The largest association of independent professionals in the EU, the IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to this latest report.

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Job creation on the up as manufacturing sector sees solid growth

Posted on 22nd March 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the manufacturing sector will be pleased to learn that the industry has experienced significant growth over the last month.

The latest Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) revealed that the UK manufacturing sector experienced further solid growth of production and new orders during February and although rates of expansion slowed, they remained well above the respective long-run averages.

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International Women’s Day celebrates growing female contractor figures

Posted on 21st March 2017

Following on from International Women’s Day celebrated last week, a recent report has revealed the growing number of female contractors in the UK today.

Findings from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) show that between 2008 and 2016 the number of female contractors increased by 55% compared to a 36% growth in males.

In the same time period the number of mothers working as self-employed increased by 79% to a total of 302,000 – 15% of the total contractor population.

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Contractor pay growth picked up from January

Posted on 20th March 2017

A recent report has revealed a mixed bag for the UK’s contracting sector with temp billings slightly softening but rates of pay increasing.

The latest Report on Jobs, carried out by Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), found that job opportunities continued to increase in February, however the availability of professionals to fill vacancies declined at the steepest rate of reduction.

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to learn that pay growth picked up slightly from January and was the second-fastest seen in nine months.

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Finance contractors see significant growth in demand

Posted on 15th March 2017

Latest findings from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) have revealed great news for the contracting sector, with contractor placements increasing by 2% year-on-year as permanent positions show a 1% decline. 

The research found that it is the financial services sector in particular that is creating a significant number of job opportunities for contractors.

Engineering is another area where contractor demand is growing, which according to the APSCo is likely to be due to the number of large-scale infrastructure projects taking place across the UK.

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Business confidence within construction sector results in more hiring

Posted on 10th March 2017

Contractors working in the construction sector will be pleased to hear that a recent survey revealed growth in hiring within the industry.

February data indicated that construction companies remain upbeat about their growth prospects for the next 12 months, with almost half (48%) forecasting a rise in business activity and only 13% expecting a decline. According to the report, the degree of positive attitude was stronger than seen on average in the second half of 2016, but weaker than January’s 13-month peak.

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Number of contractors working in London soars

Posted on 8th March 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to hear that latest research has revealed the capital to be the most popular place for contractors to work in the country.

Recent data compiled by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), shows that the number of contractors working in London has increased by 59% over the last nine years – this has made the capital the fastest growing region for self-employed numbers.

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More nurses and teachers choosing contracting lifestyle

Posted on 6th March 2017

A recent survey has revealed that there are more and more nurses and teachers choosing the contracting path, with ‘disillusionment with permanent employment in the public sector’ being a big factor.

New research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in partnership with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that agency nurses and supply teachers cited a better work-life balance, the ability to pick and choose when they worked and escaping stress and office politics as a main driver to leaving permanent employment.

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