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Contractor Industry News

Self-employed sector divided into nine segments

Posted on 12th December 2017

The self-employed sector has be divided into nine distinct segments after data was taken from contractor's earnings, levels of independence and how much security their work provides.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) in conjunction with the institute for Employment Studies (IES) shows the real diversity of the self-employed sector.

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Contractor confidence is on the rise, but still at low levels

Posted on 12th December 2017

Latest research has revealed that confidence among the UK's two million contractors is continuing to rise, but issues such as Bexit and government policy has resulted in lower levels than usual.

The research, conducted by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) found that confidence levels fell in the second quarter, however, the outlook over the next 12 months sees 31% of contractors express a positive frame of mind, which is an increase of 12% points compared to the previous quarter.

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Manufacturing sector sees increased job opportunities

Posted on 12th December 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the manufacturing sector will be pleased to learn that the industry has experienced a positive start to the final quarter of the year.

Data from the IHS/Markit CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows that production and new order volumes continued to rise at robust rates, as companies benefited from strong domestic market conditions and rising inflows of new export business.

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Self-employed numbers reach record figures

Posted on 30th November 2017

With the new labour market figures showing employment numbers are continuing to grow, the rising number of self-employed workers has also been highlighted.

There are now 32.1 million people working in the UK, which is a rise of 94,000 just from May this year. This figure is largely made up by 70,000 self-employed workers, meaning that there is now a record 4.86 million contractors in the UK – making up 15.1% of the UK workforce.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) have responded to these latest results.

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Majority of employees screen social media before interviews

Posted on 30th November 2017

Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer or ‘permie’, everyone applying for a new job needs to be aware of their social media content, as the majority of interviewers will be screening you.

New research from totaljobs has shown that as many as 74% of interviewers will check over a candidate’s social media content before carrying out an interview. Interestingly, this figure is a lot higher than is expected from candidates.

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UK manufacturing sees solid growth

Posted on 15th November 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the manufacturing industry will be pleased to learn that recent data has shown solid growth for the sector.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) revealed that the sector continued to expand at a solid rate during September, with production and new orders both rising at above long-run average rates. However, the latest survey signalled that cost inflationary pressures surged higher.

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Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion or a Storm in a Teacup?

Posted on 25th October 2017

Since the Chancellor announced that the avoidance of tax is now a moral rather than a legal issue it has become big news, unfortunately it seems as though, in some cases, a good news story has rather got in the way of the facts.

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UK manufacturing sees solid growth

Posted on 20th October 2017

Umbrella company contractors working within the manufacturing industry will be pleased to learn that recent data has shown solid growth for the sector.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) revealed that the sector continued to expand at a solid rate during September, with production and new orders both rising at above long-run average rates. However, the latest survey signalled that cost inflationary pressures surged higher.

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Contractor billings rose sharply in September

Posted on 18th October 2017

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to learn that a recent report has shown positive results for the UK’s contracting sector.

The latest IHS Markit / Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs revealed that contractor billings rose sharply during September.

Looking at a regional analysis, the quickest rate of contractor / temp billings was reported in Scotland, closely followed by the North of England.

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40% of IT contractors are earning annual salary within three months

Posted on 16th October 2017

A recent survey has revealed that a large proportion of IT contractors are taking home an average annual IT salary in just three months.

The findings, compiled by Qudos Contractor, show that 40% of the 711 IT contractors surveyed have a day rate of £500+, with 8% saying that they take home £700+ a day.

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Majority of contractors prefer to split their time between remote and onsite working

Posted on 13th October 2017

A recent survey has revealed that despite technology allowing us to work anywhere we want, the majority of contractors prefer to split their time between working remotely and onsite.

The research, carried out by Qdos Contractor found that of the 716 UK freelancers and contractors surveyed, as many as 67% preferred a combination of working on a client’s site and working remotely.

Twenty-five per cent favour spending their working days purely onsite and just eight per cent would rather work completely remotely.

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Contractor billings increase at fastest rate for over two years

Posted on 9th October 2017

Positive news for the contracting sector comes from the most recent Markit / Recruitment and Employment Confederation report, which has revealed that billings have increased at the fastest rate for two-and-a-half years.

The latest Report on Jobs also found that hourly pay rates continued to increase sharply and it was the Blue Collar sector that recorded the quickest upturn in demand of all nine job categories in July. Hotel & Catering and Nursing/Medical/Care also saw steep increases in demand.

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Automotive sector creates further job opportunities

Posted on 6th October 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the automotive industry will be pleased to learn that the sector has been experiencing significant growth in job opportunities.

The recent report, carried out by Recruitive, found that there was a continued rise in the number of automotive job roles advertised during September.

Earlier this year, a report published by SMMT revealed that UK car production achieved a 17-year high in 2016 – with the trend clearly continuing this year and opening up further opportunities for those working in the sector.

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Manufacturing job creation sees strongest rise in three years

Posted on 4th October 2017

Umbrella company contractors working in the manufacturing sector will be pleased to hear that the industry has been boosted by near survey-record growth of new export orders.

The IHS Markit / CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) found that the rate of improvement in UK manufacturing operating conditions accelerated for the first time in three months at the start of the third quarter.

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UK jobs market remains resilient

Posted on 2nd October 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that average advertised vacancies reached a 19 month high, which is the highest number recorded in nearly two years.

According to the Adzuna.co.uk report, average salaries in London have shown a 0.2% rise – the first annual increase since July 2015 and Winchester has become one of the best cities to find work with its improved jobs market.

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Umbrella company contractors enjoy higher rates of pay and longer assignments

Posted on 29th September 2017

Umbrella company contractors are experiencing a higher rate of pay and longer assignments, finds a new survey carried out by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA).

According to the trade association for professional employment services, more high-end professionals are now adopting umbrella working.

Comparing umbrella working in 2015 to 2017, the key findings revealed:

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ContractorUmbrella are pleased to announce the launch of sister company Dolan Accountancy

Posted on 27th September 2017

Simon Dolan, the founder behind the UK’s largest firm of contractor accountants and owner of ContractorUmbrella, has made a return to the accountancy industry he knows so well. Simon entered the market back in 1992 and revolutionised the contractor accountancy market.

The business, which began with a £10 shop window advert in 1992 grew to become the UK’s largest specialist firm of contractor accountants and was the only UK top 25 accounting firm to be owned by an individual rather than a partnership. Simon sold the successful business three years ago for over £80million.

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Construction sector bounces back

Posted on 27th September 2017

Umbrella contractors working in the construction sector will be happy to hear that the industry is experiencing a move in the right direction after a negative month in May.

The recent Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI revealed that contract awards increased by 12% across all regions of the UK, which totalled £5.5 billion based on a three-month rolling average – an increase on the £4.9 billion from May.

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Southampton named as top UK city for the self-employed

Posted on 26th September 2017

Umbrella company contractors may be interested to learn that a new study has revealed Southampton to be the UK's top city for those in the contracting sector.

The 'Definitive Study of the Self-Employed' report carried out by Inuit Quickbooks, questioned 5,010 self-employed people across the UK on issues including working hours, income, holiday and general life satisfaction.

The analysis revealed Southampton to be the top city, followed by London, Edinburgh, Brighton and Sheffield.

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Over half of 18-54-year-olds looking to join contracting sector

Posted on 22nd September 2017

A recent report has revealed that there are as many as 68% of 18-54-year-olds who are looking at leaving their current roles to become self-employed.

According to the survey compiled by World Options, of the 68%, 19.5% dream of working for themselves, 16.5% are putting the plans into motion and 31.5% are interested in joining the contracting workforce.

Twenty-two per cent anticipate that they will be self-employed within the next five to 10 years.

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Dolan Accountancy Launch

Posted on 19th September 2017

Simon Dolan, the founder behind the UK’s largest firm of contractor accountants, today makes a return to the industry he knows so well. Simon entered the market back in 1992 and revolutionised the contractor accountancy market.

The business, which began with a £10 shop window advert in 1992 grew to become the UK’s largest specialist firm of contractor accountants and was the only UK top 25 accounting firm to be owned by an individual rather than a partnership. Simon sold the successful business three years ago for over £80million. 

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Majority of IT contractors favour a 'soft' Brexit

Posted on 14th September 2017

A recent survey has discovered that as many as 72.4% of IT contractors would prefer a ‘soft Brexit’ whereby the UK stays in the single market and freedom of movement is retained within the UK.

The ClearSky Accounting research confirmed that of the 300 IT contractor surveyed, less than a quarter believe that the government will be supportive.

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More support needed for creative contractors

Posted on 12th September 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to hear that there have been calls for increased support for contractors working in creative industries.

The recent report published by the Creative Industries Federation has called for a number of key supports for those who are creative self-employed workers, with the IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed) agreeing with the points made.

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Industry 4.0 creates demand for IT professionals

Posted on 8th September 2017

IT contractors might be interested to find out that the increasing rise of Industry 4.0 has resulted in a growing demand for technology professionals with the right skills.

The research carried out by 1st Executive, compared client job specifications from the same period a year ago and revealed that UK businesses are showing more and more interest in IT professionals, in particular for their skills that can be used within the supply chain.

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‘Unlawful’ employment tribunal fees ruling welcomed by contractor body

Posted on 6th September 2017

Umbrella company contractors might be interested to learn that the Supreme Court has ruled against ‘unlawful’ employment tribunal fees.

The fees that were introduced four years ago mean that the government must now refund a reported £32 million to claimants due to a legal battle launched by trade union Unison that was based on the fact that the fees were preventing workers from getting access to justice.

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Skills shortage results in employers relying more on contractors

Posted on 31st August 2017

Umbrella company contractors will be pleased to learn that more UK employers are becoming reliant on contractors and temps due to skills shortages.

The latest JobsOutlook report carried out by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) revealed that as many as 45% of UK employers are expecting a shortage of suitable candidates over the next 12 months.

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More IT contractors choosing to step away from public sector

Posted on 18th August 2017

New research has revealed that a high percentage of IT contractors are choosing to carry out work in the private sector instead of the public.

With changes to IR35 rules meaning that IT contractors in the public sector are now being taxed like employees, more and more self-employed workers are turning to the private sector for their contracts.

According to the research from CW Jobs, as many as 71% of the 1,000 IT contractors surveyed said their take home pay had decreased because of IR35 changes – 29% experienced an 11-20% reduction in income and 27% a 21-30% decrease.

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IPSE respond to the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices

Posted on 17th August 2017

Just a couple of months ago, the IPSE 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’.

This was in response to the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. At the time this was briefly put on hold due to the snap General Election, but the report has now been released.

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IPSE: We do not want changes to the treatment of self-employed people that would threaten their inherent flexibility

Posted on 28th July 2017

With the recent Matthew Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices looking at the ‘implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well employer freedoms and obligations’, the IPSE is clear on the fact that they do not want the results to impact self-employed worker’s flexibility in any way shape or form.

This response has come after Deliveroo’s submission to the review, with plans to provide greater protection to riders.

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Significant rise in the number of contractors choosing the umbrella company route

Posted on 26th July 2017

The number of enquiries for umbrella companies has more than doubled compared to just a few months ago, with the recent changes to employment status checks thought to be the reason behind this surge.

The findings, from Parasol Group have revealed that enquiries have increased by an incredible 76% since Q1 2017 – going from 4,473 to 7,916.

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