Industry news

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers his ‘first and last' Autumn Statement

Thursday 24th November, 2016
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Industry news
As is customary with Autumn Statements the Chancellor set the scene by talking about the state of the economy (one of the world's fastest growing), public spending (significant investments in roads, rail and housing required), employment (highest for many years) and borrowing (higher than forecast).

IR35 and the public sector

Wednesday 23rd November, 2016
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Industry news
Following a consultation earlier in the year to consider the use and application of IR35 in the public sector, Chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday confirmed in the Autumn Statement the government is going ahead with these unpopular proposals.

The Contractor Market Report - October 2016 - Infographic

Monday 7th November, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

How contractors can help prevent the UK skills shortage from becoming a 'chasm'

Tuesday 1st November, 2016
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Industry news
How can limited company contractors stop the tech industry splitting due to the ongoing skills shortage?

PRISM: Government agree a review of employment legislation

Thursday 13th October, 2016
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Industry news
TRADE body PRISM have been campaigning for over a year for the Government to launch a review of employment legislation within the UK and their campaigning has finally paid off.

Off-payroll working in the Public Sector: Reform of the Intermediaries Legislation

Thursday 29th September, 2016
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Industry news
What does the reform of the Intermediaries Legislation mean for contractors working in the public sector?

The Contractor Market Report - September 2016 - Infographic

Thursday 29th September, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

The Contractor Market Report - August 2016 - Infographic

Tuesday 13th September, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Millennials: A force to be reckoned with in the contractor world

Thursday 25th August, 2016
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Industry news
How can existing contractors compete against the growing millennial contingent of the self-employed workforce?

The Contractor Market Report - July 2016 - Infographic

Wednesday 10th August, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Sign up to PRISM Pulse – the FREE monthly bulletin

Tuesday 9th August, 2016
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Industry news
PRISM have created a free monthly bulletin called PULSE.

IR35 and the public sector

Wednesday 27th July, 2016
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Industry news
In May 2016, HMRC launched a consultation to consider the use and application of IR35 in the public sector.

The Contractor Market Report - June 2016 - Infographic

Monday 18th July, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Parliament hears battle cry for strategic review of contracting sector as senior MP insists ‘Government misunderstands the world of work’

Friday 1st July, 2016
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Industry news
A SENIOR politician has accused the Government of misunderstanding how the world of work has changed as Parliament heard calls for a strategic review of the legislation affecting contractors.

BBC Radio 4’s Money Box try and improve their understanding of umbrella companies and contracting with help from PRISMs Crawford Temple

Tuesday 21st June, 2016
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The BBC's Money Box programme has investigated the confusing legislation that exists around contractors working through umbrella companies.

The new contractor tax change legislation needs a rewrite

Monday 9th May, 2016
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Industry news
Following on from their YES2T&S campaign PRISM have called for a strategic review of the legislation affecting contractors which was tabled as an amendment to the Finance Bill by the SNP and its Treasury spokesman Roger Mullin following meetings with PRISM.

Treasury spokesman tables amendment to Finance Bill

Tuesday 19th April, 2016
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Industry news
Posted by Kerry Hull
In a bid to secure a strategic review for contractors a MAJOR political party has tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill which has called upon the Chancellor to report back in six months.

MPs have attacked Osborne’s changes to contractors’ T&S relief

Thursday 14th April, 2016
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Industry news
Posted by Kerry Hull
55 Parliamentarians have signed an open letter devised recently by trade body PRISM, calling on the Chancellor to launch a strategic review of the entire sector. SNP Treasury spokesman Roger Mullin, who was one of the 55 Parliamentarians to sign the letter, made clear in his speech to Parliament that the changes would have a dramatic effect on contractors serving rural communities.

The Contractor Market Report - March 2016 - Infographic

Tuesday 5th April, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Key Changes for the New Tax Year

Thursday 24th March, 2016
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Industry news
With Easter, the new tax year and changes to Travel and Subsistence just around the corner we have been very busy in the Operations Department.

PayStream's response to the Budget 2016

Wednesday 16th March, 2016
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Industry news
The theme of Chancellor George Osborne's Budget today was that of 'a Budget that puts the next generation first' to use the oft-repeated phrase in his speech.

55 MPs sign letter advising review of contractor’s legislative framework

Friday 11th March, 2016
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Industry news
A cross-party coalition of 55 MPs have recently signed an open letter urging Chancellor George Osbourne to review the legislative framework governing contractors.

The Contractor Market Report - February 2016 - Infographic

Tuesday 1st March, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

In order to get a level playing field for workers a strategic review is the UK’s only hope

Friday 12th February, 2016
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Industry news
Posted by Kerry Hull
According to PRISM Chief Executive Crawford Temple, if the Government is to meet its long-term aim of a simplified tax regime then a strategic review of the entire legislative framework relating to contractors is needed.

How have recent floods affected contractors?

Friday 12th February, 2016
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Industry news
We look at how recent floods have affected contractors...

Skill shortages spell increased opportunities and rates for contractors

Thursday 12th February, 2015
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Industry news
As the skills shortage gap widens even further, contractors are finding themselves at an advantage with increased demand.

The Contractor Market Report - January 2016 - Infographic

Friday 5th February, 2016
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

What do changes in the digital economy mean for contractors?

Monday 2nd February, 2015
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Industry news
Since 2010, contractors in the UK have seen a massive growth in the digital industry, excelling contractor demand as businesses move towards a digitalised economy.

HMRC’s tax rate changes on dividends for limited company contractors

Friday 29th January, 2016
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Industry news
As a limited company contractor you may be aware of HMRC's tax rate changes on dividends for the tax year 2016/17.

PayStream's Opinion - HMRC takes action towards individuals using non-compliant schemes

Friday 29th January, 2016
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Industry news
HMRC issues APNs to taxpayers it believes were involved in avoidance schemes.

Government are downplaying the effect of T&S changes on supply teachers

Tuesday 19th January, 2016
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Industry news
A tax expert has recently stated that the Government is purposely downplaying the impact that changes to Travel and Subsistence (T&S) will have on supply teachers.

Trade body AEMC closes its doors and moves support to PRISM

Friday 15th January, 2016
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Industry news
Trade body, the Association of Employment Management Companies (AEMC) has made the decision to close its doors after seven years and move its support to trade body PRISM.

What does 2016 hold for contractors?

Friday 15th January, 2016
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Industry news
With the start of a new year bringing many changes in personal lives, it is a fitting time to look at what lies ahead for your professional life as well. Take a look at what trends will impact contractors the most this year.

The Contractor Market Report - December 2015 - Infographic

Wednesday 14th January, 2015
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Travel & Subsistence contractor update

Monday 21st December, 2015
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Industry news
Posted by Julian Ball
In our Autumn Statement review we advised that the Chancellor had confirmed his intention to restrict the ability for contractors to get tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses and that the finer detail was due for release early December. This detail has now been released and as expected, the Government’s draft legislation and preliminary guidance on travel & subsistence (T&S) confirms, that "Individuals working through employment intermediaries will not be allowed to claim tax relief on their travel and subsistence (T&S) expenses, where the worker is under supervision, direction or control (SDC) in the manner in which they carry out the work."

Changes to Travel and Subsistence rules

Tuesday 15th December, 2015
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Industry news
The Government's draft legislation and preliminary guidance on travel & subsistence (T&S) was published on 9 December which confirms, as expected, that "Individuals working through employment intermediaries will not be allowed to claim tax relief on their T&S expenses, where the worker is under supervision, direction or control (SDC) in the manner in which they carry out the work."

The Contractor Market Report - October 2015 - Infographic

Friday 27th November, 2015
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Industry news
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.

Autumn Statement 2015 - Travel and Subsistence review

Wednesday 25th November, 2015
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Industry news
The Chancellor earlier today confirmed his intention to restrict the ability of contractors to get tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses. Although the detail of the changes has not yet been released (and we expect the fine detail in the next couple of weeks) we have a good idea of what the legislation might look like based on a recent consultation document issued.

Autumn Statement 2015 - Spending review

Wednesday 25th November, 2015
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We provide our comments on Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review, which sets out what Government spending will be over the next 4 years, and his Autumn Statement - an annual update on the economy today.

IR35 - Change is in the air

Thursday 22nd October, 2015
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Industry news
Posted by Clare Baker
Whilst this dialogue continues, one constant remains and that is although the long term future of IR35 may be open to debate, the government has no immediate plans to scrap the legislation but changes to how it operates are on the horizon.

PayStream’s Opinion – HMRC have been given new powers to pursue tax avoidance

Thursday 22nd October, 2015
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Industry news
In HM Revenue and Custom's pursuit of tax avoidance, the government has recently given HMRC the power to demand tax back from contractors, which they must pay within 90 days regardless of whether the individual disputes the debt.

Experience vs degree: What's more important in the jobs market?

Friday 2nd October, 2015
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Industry news
Traditionally, limited company contractors have made a living from their niche expertise, which often includes skills that have been learnt on the job or through vocational training courses rather than via academic qualifications. In some industries, such as the engineering sector or accounting, it may be more necessary for contractors to hold a degree, but do clients really value these more than other skills?

Temporary workers benefit as demand for staff grows

Monday 21st September, 2015
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Industry news
Figures from the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), show that 98% of end clients plan to sustain or grow their number of temporary workers while the general demand for staff looks set to rise.

How is the skills shortage affecting the UK's rail industry?

Wednesday 16th September, 2015
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Industry news
The UK's ongoing skills shortage has hardly been out of the news over the past couple of years, with many businesses unable to perform to the best of their ability due to the fact they cannot recruit staff with the expertise they need.

What did July's UK industry conditions mean for contractors?

Tuesday 18th August, 2015
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Industry news
The number of opportunities available for limited company contractors across the UK's manufacturing, construction and service sectors increased during July, but what exactly was behind this rise in demand?

Contractors set to take over UK jobs market

Friday 17th July, 2015
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Industry news
Predicted to make up some 50 per cent of the nation's employment market by 2020, contractors are becoming increasingly valued by small businesses as cost-efficient, skills-rich options for bolstering the quality of their output.

Who's behind the next generation of limited companies?

Wednesday 15th July, 2015
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Industry news
It is obvious that more and more people are planning to start their own businesses or move away from permanent employment into contract work. But who's behind the next generation of limited companies?

PayStream's response to the 2015 summer Budget

Wednesday 8th July, 2015
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Industry news
Posted by David McManus
Pre-budget forecasts included cuts in welfare; longer Sunday trading hours; reduction in tax relief for pension contributions; continuing clampdown on tax avoidance; personal tax and inheritance tax threshold increases; fuel duty increases, some of these have come to pass plus more besides!

Contractors are needed to plug the skills shortage gap

Tuesday 30th June, 2015
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Industry news
With the UK's skills shortage an ever increasing cause for concern, especially in industries such as the Engineering sector, contracting is becoming an essential resource for clients seeking short-term access to workers with key skills.

PayStream's Opinion - IR35 is here to stay

Thursday 25th June, 2015
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Industry news
Posted by Julian Ball
IR35 came into force in July 2000 to tackle 'disguised employment.' Generally speaking, where you work in the same way as an employee of the client, you should pay broadly the same tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) as that employee. IR35 considers the underlying nature of your working relationship with a client.

How can IT contractors benefit from the industry's skills shortage?

Monday 8th June, 2015
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Industry news
What can IT limited company contractors do to benefit from the industry's skills shortage?

What might the result of the general election mean for contractors?

Thursday 7th May, 2015
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A look at what's in the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos for contractors.

Temporary worker recruitment levels increased

Friday 10th April, 2015
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Industry news
According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation's (REC's) latest JobsOutlook survey for February 2015, almost every employer asked plans to boost the number of temporary workers in the coming quarter.

PayStream's response to the Budget 2015

Wednesday 18th March, 2015
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Industry news
Chancellor George Osborne, in the last and perhaps most widely-leaked Budget of this Parliament, claimed that ‘Britain is walking tall again’.

Payroll changes for the tax year ahead

Tuesday 24th February, 2015
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Industry news
The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament on 3rd December which sets out the payroll changes for the tax year ahead.

What does the future hold for IR35?

Tuesday 24th February, 2015
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Industry news
The profile of IR35 continues to increase – the final report on the administrative review of IR35 has recently been released.

PayStream’s Opinion - HMRC’s reporting requirements

Tuesday 24th February, 2015
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Industry news
New rules come into force from April which mean that agencies have to supply HMRC with information on all the workers they place with clients even if the agency doesn’t pay the worker.

8% increase in Jobs in the North West

Friday 20th February, 2015
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Industry news
Venn Groups most recent Contract Recruitment Index has revealed an 8% increase in jobs month-on-month in the North West.

Will the slow growth in weekly earnings see more workers switch to contracting?

Tuesday 17th February, 2015
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Industry news
There is no doubt that businesses have grown since entering the post-recession period. However, it seems that this has not been fully reflected in workers’ wages which have grown at their slowest pace in 4 years.

Soar in demand for compliance professionals within the Pharmaceutical industry

Monday 16th February, 2015
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Industry news
Tougher regulations put in place to tackle counterfeit drugs could indicate a positive future for umbrella and limited company contractors.

PayStreams opinion on the 2014 Autumn Statement

Thursday 4th December, 2014
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Industry news
Posted by Julian Ball
The Chancellor, George Osborne, yesterday gave his final Autumn Statement before the next General Election.

The FSB are turning to social media to engage with politicians

Friday 14th November, 2014
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Industry news
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has turned to the power of social media to communicate current contracting issues.

Highest contractor pay rates in 7 years

Wednesday 22nd October, 2014
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Industry news
Pay rates for contractors have a reached a 7 year high according to new research.

Traditional employment, a thing of the past?

Monday 13th October, 2014
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Industry news
Is traditional employment, a thing of the past? The latest Jobs Outlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) highlighted a significant decrease in the amount of contractors choosing to stay on as a permanent employee with their client.

Demand soars for IT contractors

Saturday 4th October, 2014
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Industry news
IT contractor opportunities increased in August at the fastest rate for 16 years, taking their index score from 63.9 in July to 65.6, the highest rise since December 2013.

What does the future look like for IT contractors?

Wednesday 24th September, 2014
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Industry news
IT contractors are in increasing demand and with many industries facing something of a talent shortage, it is important that such workers are paying attention to enhancing their skills throughout their career...

PayStream’s opinion – An update of what’s been going on in our industry

Tuesday 29th July, 2014
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Industry news
HMRC has released new guidance to help contractors understand IR35. The guide covers a number of topics including, ‘How to work out if IR35 affects you’ and ‘enquiries by HM Revenue and Customs.’

Optimistic outlook for the British workplace

Thursday 12th June, 2014
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Industry news
promotions, bonuses and recruitment have all increased over the past 12 month period. In May 2014 a reported 45% of people...

Growing job opportunities for graduates

Thursday 5th June, 2014
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Industry news
The number of graduates struggling to take their first step onto the career ladder has eased up in recent months...

PayStream’s opinion: What does the future hold for contractors?

Wednesday 28th May, 2014
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Industry news
2014 has, so far, been generally positive for contractors. The economic recovery has created a demand for skilled workers which is met in large part by contractors particularly those with specific skill sets. On the downside...

Pay rates rise for oil and gas contractors

Tuesday 20th May, 2014
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Industry news
The latest quarterly report from theoilangaspeople.com jobs board has found that contractors in the oil and gas industry have experienced the sharpest increase in pay rates than any other sector in the energy industry...

Public IT sector in recovery

Tuesday 13th May, 2014
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Industry news
IT opportunities in the public sector has entered its slow path to recovery and now accounts for 11% of IT job roles, which is good news for Umbrella company and Limited company contractors.

How to make the most of your ISA in the 2014/2015 tax year - Contractor Financials guest blog

Tuesday 22nd April, 2014
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Industry news
Whether you are new to the world of ISA's or you have a portfolio of investments built up, the 2014/2015 tax year is set to open up more scope for ISA investment. As of July 1st the ISA limit is increasing from £11,880 to £15,000 and will be renamed as a New ISA (NISA). The reason for the name change is the Government's wish to reflect the significant limits and flexibility for investors.

Contractor availability at lowest for almost 10 years

Monday 14th April, 2014
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Industry news
KMPG’S latest report on Jobs highlighted that candidate availability is at an all-time low. The level of contractors was said to have sharply fallen during March 2014...

Freelancing to overtake traditional employment by 2020?

Tuesday 8th April, 2014
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Industry news
Could contractors outgrow traditional employees over the next 6 years? The latest survey results from major online freelancing website Elance seems to think so.

PayStream's Opinion- The Onshore Employment Intermediaries Consultation

Thursday 3rd April, 2014
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Industry news
Last week the Government published new Legislation known as the Onshore Employment Intermediaries Legislation. Basically the legislation, which comes into effect on 6 April, makes agencies liable for the tax where any “self-employed” workers placed by them are found not to be genuinely self-employed.

The next three months is set to see contractor demand soar

Wednesday 26th March, 2014
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Industry news
The future looks bright for freelancers as contractor demand looks set to soar over the next three months...

PayStream's response to the Budget 2014

Wednesday 19th March, 2014
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Industry news
Are you a maker, a do-er or a saver? If you are then according to the Chancellor today, his 2014 Budget is for you! Contractors will be pleased to see that the Income Tax Personal Allowance increases to £10,500 from April 2015 whilst the higher rate threshold rises to £42,285...

Will the UK economy suffer if the skills shortage isn’t resolved?

Wednesday 12th February, 2014
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Industry news
Currently, the government has turned to short-term solutions in response to the lack of highly skilled labour, further neglecting the growing concern for the future of the UK economy. Could this beneficial for contractors?

Contractor demand continues to increase over 2014

Wednesday 5th March, 2014
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Industry news
A recent report on JobsOutlook by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), highlighted that contractor hiring is set to soar by 47% over the next 3 month period, does 2014 continue to uphold a positive outlook for contractors...?

Will oil and gas growth continue to suffer from the growing skills shortage?

Wednesday 5th March, 2014
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Industry news
The shortage in skilled labour is still having an impact towards the long-term recovery of oil and gas from the North Sea.

Are contractors the key to the UK’s skills shortage?

Monday 3rd March, 2014
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Industry news
A recent report highlighted by the REC and KMPG, once again confirmed the ever increasing gap of skilled labour in the engineering, construction, IT and digital media sectors in the UK.

PayStream's opinion- the growth and success of the IT industry

Friday 7th February, 2014
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Industry news
It is becoming ever more apparent that there is a growing gap in skilled labour within the IT industry.So, what has been the driver for the war on talent in the IT industry?

Graduates are now opting for contract work

Thursday 13th February, 2014
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Industry news
Globalisation, changing technologies and the increasing need for an agile workforce has altered the future of the workforce. This trend is ever more apparent with new graduates now opting for contractual labour over regular employment.

Is now the time to get a fixed rate Contractor Mortgage? - Contractor Financials guest blog

Thursday 13th February, 2014
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Industry news
2013 welcomed a dramatic drop in interest rates across a wide array of mortgages, tailored from Contractor friendly Lenders thanks to Funding for Lending, which has continued into 2014. Is now the time to get a fixed rate Contractor Mortgage?

Oil and Gas Industry set to boom

Friday 7th February, 2014
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Industry news
There is more positive news on the horizon for contractors as the oil and gas industry is set to explode, with the Government giving oil and gas businesses a new licensing round for offshore drilling...

Skills shortage becoming a growing threat to UK business

Thursday 6th February, 2014
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Industry news
The growing gap in skilled labour is becoming ever more apparent as time goes on. Although this may spell an optimistic future for highly skilled contractors, what impact is it having on the future growth of UK businesses?

PayStream’s opinion: What’s happening with self-employment

Tuesday 28th January, 2014
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Industry news
The government is currently reviewing self-employment models in the industry. It wishes to tackle what it deems to be ‘false self-employment.’ Legislation has been drafted and government is consulting with all relevant parties. The consultation period is due to end on 4th February 2014 and thereafter, the Government will announce whether or not it will introduce new legislation.

2014 looks promising for contractors in the Oil and Gas Industry

Friday 24th January, 2014
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Industry news
As the economy continues on its path to a slow but steady recovery, it seems, more and more industries are showing promising signs of growth. Contractors operating in the oil and gas sector have a lucrative year on the horizon as 2014 see’s temporary contractors pay rates on the rise.

IT Skills shortage drives up pay rates

Monday 20th January, 2014
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Industry news
The growing gap in skilled labour is becoming ever more apparent with pay rates now increasing in certain sectors. The IT industry is one of the first to see a war on pay, with companies fighting to poach the most in-demand skilled workers.

Growth in the manufacturing industry sees a rising demand for contractors

Friday 10th January, 2014
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Industry news
A report published recently by the Manufacturers Organisation for UK manufacturing (EEF), highlighted growth in the sector being set to increase by 2.7% in 2014 compared to the 2.4% for the overall economy. This steady increase in growth has had a knock on effect within the recruitment industry with job vacancies predicted to follow suite.

January blues? 5 Reasons why Contractors should be looking forward to 2014

Monday 6th January, 2014
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Industry news
The January blues can be daunting after the festive period ends. However, with economic improvement and the rising demand for contractors, 2014 should offer much opportunity.

The Contractors Guide to the Autumn Statement - Contractor Financials guest blog

Wednesday 11th December, 2013
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Industry news
Today's Autumn Statement was a far cry from the "mini budget" of last year but still contained some noteworthy points for the UK's Contractor Community. Here Tony Harris, MD of IFA Contractor Financials, takes you through his guide to the 2013 Autumn Statement and how it might affect your finances over the coming year.

PayStream's Guide to the Autumn Statement

Wednesday 11th December, 2013
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Industry news
2013's Autumn Statementprovided some interesting and noteworthy points for Agencies and Contractors. It highlighted our ever strengthening economy, the positive growth in the job market and the greater measures being taken to cut down on tax avoidance.

IR35 Investigations Set to Soar

Tuesday 10th December, 2013
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Industry news
HMRC continues it's goal to crack down on tax avoidance. According to HMRC, in the tax year 2012-2013 the number of IR35 investigations soared to the highest number of enquiries within a 12 month period for seven years, reaching 256 in total.

What if I were chancellor for a day? Philip Ross campaigns for ‘Fairness For Freelancers’ within the labour party group.

Tuesday 3rd December, 2013
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Industry news
Philip discusses how National Insurance needs to be restructured or removed, so that an innovative employment and tax model can be put into place to meet the shift in modern day economic functionality.

Shortage of skilled labour sees a rising demand of contractors

Monday 2nd December, 2013
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Industry news
According to KMPG & REC there has been a further increase in the demand for contractors across the UK. The shortage of a skilled contractual labour force has been a hot topic over the past few months, even in the up and coming cyclical months of the festive period, demand does not seem to be slowing down.

Small business supported via HMRC webinars

Friday 29th November, 2013
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Industry news
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has shown its support to ‘small businesses in the UK by hosting four live tax webinars free of charge. It gives businesses an opportunity to understand what's involved when setting up a limited company.

Offshore intermediary consultation under fire

Thursday 17th October, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Marion Muscat
HMRC's consultation on tax for offshore employment intermediaries has been met with criticism.

Help to buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme launches for Contractors - Contractor Financials guest blog

Wednesday 16th October, 2013
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Industry news
The Government has fast tracked its Mortgage Guarantee scheme by three months so that Contractors can start accessing 95% mortgages this week. The great news is that Contractor friendly Lender Halifax are one of the first to join the scheme and will be offering their new 95% mortgage from Friday. This will make the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of Contractors who would otherwise have faced another three months of waiting and could mean that many Freelancers could start 2014 in a new home.

Upcoming changes to look out for

Thursday 10th October, 2013
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Industry news
With the introduction of pensions and the national minimum wage increase, there have been a few changes which have either already taken place or are about to be introduced which we feel you may benefit from knowing about, so here they are in summary.

PayStream’s opinion: An update on offshore employment schemes

Thursday 10th October, 2013
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Industry news
In previous newsletters we mentioned that HMRC had issued a consultation on offshore employment schemes with a view to bringing in legislation, effective from the new tax year, to close down such offshore schemes. The consultation closed in August but the results are not yet published. In the meantime there has already been a move by recruiters to ensure that their contractors are not using offshore schemes. This is largely driven by end clients who are concerned that they may be chased for any unpaid tax by HMRC.

Is it time to invest in Buy to Let? - Contractor Financials guest blog

Thursday 12th September, 2013
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Industry news
More Contractors are investing in buy to let now than at any point in the last five years. Recent figures are showing that buy to let is representing 13.3% of all mortgage lending, with lending on buy to let now 31% higher than at the same time last year according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Funding for lending helps Contractors on to the property ladder

Tuesday 30th July, 2013
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Industry news
The Governments funding for lending scheme was first introduced in July 2012 but was greatly extended by the Chancellor in his 2013 Budget. The benefits of the funding for lending scheme, in addition to Government schemes specifically aimed at new build property buyers, are certainly being felt in the Contractor community as our specialist IFA Contractor Financials have helped more Contractors to step onto or move up the housing ladder last month than at the height of the property boom in 2007.

Get your pension the easy way - from your employer!

Monday 29th July, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Marion Muscat
As the population grows older most of us can look forward to around 20 years in retirement. This is good news. But what if you haven’t saved up for your retirement? Millions of us are not saving enough to have the income we would like in retirement. The State Pension is a foundation for your retirement, but you may want more. Today, the full basic State Pension is £110.15 a week for a single person.

The PayStream workplace pension is coming

Friday 19th July, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Marion Muscat
The government has created a new initiative to help you build up a pension through your workplace. It requires all employers including PayStream to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are not already in one.

Pension reform has started

Wednesday 26th June, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Marion Muscat
As from October 2012, large employers started to enrol their workers into a workplace pension to encourage more people to save for their retirement. Other employers will follow sometime after this, over several years. Here at PayStream, we will enrol you as from October 2013 if you are an employee of PayStream My Max.

PayStream’s opinion: A roundup of recent compliance activity

Tuesday 21st May, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Julian Ball
Last tax year we saw a crackdown on offshore schemes and strong language from Government and HMRC concerning the use of such schemes. As a result agencies reviewed PSLs to identify offshore providers and attempted to switch contractors to onshore solutions. The agencies met some resistance since the offshore schemes generally deliver a greater take home pay since no NI (and sometimes no tax at all) is paid. The contractors have been given the message that tax isn’t optional.

Aviva pulls out of the Professional Indemnity Insurance market

Wednesday 3rd April, 2013
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Industry news
Aviva have announced they will stop writing professional indemnity (PI) business for small to medium sized businesses from April 1st. This could mean that any of our contractors who have PI insurance with Aviva will be unable to renew their policy from 1st April onwards.

Pension Auto-enrolment: The basic facts

Thursday 28th March, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Marion Muscat
Pension auto-enrolment came into force for large employers on October 2012. This new duty requires employers to auto-enrol certain members of their workforce into a qualifying pension scheme and make contributions towards it. What this means is that employers must have a qualifying pension scheme in place. It also means that employers will have to assess workers on a regular basis to understand whether to include them in the scheme. Automatic enrolment does not apply to self-employed contractors such as CIS or PSC workers. Umbrella workers are however covered by the scheme.

PayStream's opinion on contractors in the public sector

Thursday 21st March, 2013
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In May 2012 The Treasury published its review of tax arrangements for public sector workers. The review outlined the following key recommendations:

Our response to the Budget

Wednesday 20th March, 2013
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Looking at the Budget overall there was little immediate impact for contractors, which is probably as good as we could have hoped for in the current financial climate. A postponement in petrol duty rises is good news for all and surprisingly beer tax is not going up but down - I'll drink to that.

An overview of the Autumn statement and what it means to you

Thursday 24th January, 2013
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The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament on 5th December and the main announcements which will affect HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) customers are highlighted in this article and will take effect from 6th April 2013 to be implemented for the tax year 2013 -14.

An overview of 2012

Thursday 24th January, 2013
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Industry news
Posted by Mark Stringer
2012 was certainly an interesting year with mixed reviews coming from all ends of the recruitment market. We continued our 5 year growth trend hitting our highest number of contractors ever, largely down to the number of PSL’s now in place, and so far, 2013 is looking extremely promising. Most recruiters would agree it has been a difficult year but there have been a number of positive trends.

PayStream’s opinion: What is RTI and how will it affect you

Thursday 24th January, 2013
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Real Time Information or RTI as it is commonly known, is information about Income Tax, National Insurance contributions (NICs) and other deductions which employers will have to provide to HMRC in real time when payments are made, instead of waiting until after the end of the tax year. The purpose being that it is to ensure that employees pay the right amount of Income Tax and National Insurance in the tax year. HMRC will start to mandate the use of RTI from April 2013 and all companies that run a PAYE scheme will be affected.

PayStreams opinon: An update on the Swedish Derogation model

Thursday 24th January, 2013
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We finally have a tribunal decision on the Swedish Derogation (SD) which makes it clear that equality of pay will not apply where the provisions of Regulation 10 are satisfied. In other words, if an agency is clear that an assignment is offered on an “SD basis” and the contract is properly drafted then, in general terms, the agency will not have to worry about equalising pay.

Clarity regarding the Swedish Derogation Model

Wednesday 23rd January, 2013
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Posted by Marion Muscat
It’s been 15 months since the Agency Workers Regulations came into force in 2011 and thanks to the ruling delivered by the Employment Tribunal in the Bray & others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) ltd only last December, we finally have some clarity on the application of Regulation 10, also known amongst practitioners, as the ‘Swedish Derogation Model’

IR35 changes for office holders

Monday 24th December, 2012
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Posted by Marion Muscat
The tightening of the Intermediaries Legislation (commonly known as IR 35) that the Chancellor referred to in his autumn statement and as further announced in the Draft 2013 Finance Bill on the 11th of December 2013 is targeted specifically at office holders.

Our October survey says...

Wednesday 31st October, 2012
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We asked our web visitors if they were aware of the proposed tax changes for those on higher incomes that are in receipt of Child Benefit and a staggering 93% are not!

Pensions Act 2012

Thursday 25th October, 2012
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Industry news
You may already be aware that the legislation surrounding pensions changed from October 2012.

IR35 enquiries are on the increase

Tuesday 23rd October, 2012
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Off-payroll arrangements in the public sector remains in the spotlight this month following the release of a report by the influential Parliamentary body, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The report writes of the importance of the public sector showing leadership in the fight against tax avoidance and makes a number of recommendations in how to better achieve this.

HMRC's crack down on tax cases

Tuesday 16th October, 2012
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Official data released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed that the number of IR35 investigations has risen from 23 in 2010/11 to 599 in 2011/12. HMRC seem to be taking a more aggressive approach to tax cases and became particularly focused on IR35 about the same time that the extensive use of personal service companies (PSCs) in the public sector was revealed.

Introducing Real Time Information

Monday 3rd September, 2012
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Industry news
After the introduction of Agency Worker Regulation in October 2011, we have been busy preparing for Real Time Information (RTI).

IR35 and ‘controlling persons'

Friday 31st August, 2012
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On 31 January 2012, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced a review of the tax arrangements of public sector workers. The findings of the review published in May show that there are currently a large number of workers not paid through central government payroll. The Treasury is concerned about this because it does not want to be seen to

Is IR35 on your mind?

Monday 30th July, 2012
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In essence, IR35 simply says that if a worker is a disguised employee of the client then he should be subjected to the same tax and national insurance deductions as other regular employees. IR35 does not therefore affect those paying employed levels of tax (for example, umbrella workers) but those running their own personal service companies (PSC) and declaring dividends from company profit.

PayStream's opinion on IR35 and the business entity tests

Saturday 28th July, 2012
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HMRC reported that the tax yield from 23 IR35 enquiries in 10-11 tax year was £219,180. Some might therefore find it surprising that HMRC is reported to have set up 3 teams of 12 people to deal with the enforcement of IR35 since on the face of it the yield would not even pay their wages. HMRC must therefore be confident that the new

Rolling out the new IR35 regime

Friday 15th June, 2012
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Following our article last month on the amended IR35 regime and introduction of the Business Entity Test, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have now targeted its first set of PSC contractors. HMRC wrote to a number of contractors last week asking the contractor whether he has considered his IR35 status and if working outside IR35, to explain the basis upon which he arrived at this decision.

Has IR35 changed recently?

Wednesday 23rd May, 2012
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Industry news
The simple answer is 'No,' IR35 has not changed however HMRC have recently introduced their so called “Business Entity Tests.” These Business Entity Tests are likely to be used by HMRC to target businesses that they wish to review from an IR35 perspective.

What's changing with the new tax year 2012/13

Thursday 29th March, 2012
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Posted by Sarah Tasker
April 6th 2012 marks the start of new tax year, so how will this affect you? In this article we are outlining the main changes that may impact you under your employment. Where applicable, HMRC information is also provided.

Budget 2012 response

Thursday 22nd March, 2012
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"An unashamedly pro-business budget" was how the Financial Times described the Chancellor's budget today and we cannot disagree with that.

Highlights from the Autumn Statement

Wednesday 30th November, 2011
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Chancellor pledges to do "whatever it takes" to protect Britain from "the debt storm" In yesterday's Autumn Statement George Osborne confirmed that UK economic growth would be lower and borrowing higher than he had predicted during the March 2011 Budget

PayStream and the AWR

Wednesday 24th August, 2011
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Industry news
With the introduction of the Regulations only a month away recruitment agencies are finalising strategies for mitigating their risk. We have spent time with a good number of agencies and have been surprised at the differing approaches even between those working in the same sector.

Is there a simple AWR solution for agencies

Wednesday 15th June, 2011
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AWR is obviously a hot topic in our industry at the moment so we wanted to share our thoughts with you, on the options agencies have, when it comes to the implementation of these new regulations.

PayStream's budget highlights

Thursday 24th March, 2011
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In the words of the Chancellor, George Osborne, the aim of yesterday's budget was to "put the fuel into the tank of the UK economy." Fundamentally it was a budget, on a budget, for business. Our view is that compared to some recent budgets it was good news for freelancers and contractors.

Employee Benefit Trust Scheme now illegal

Wednesday 22nd December, 2010
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On 9th December 2010, the Government issued for Consultation draft legislation primarily focused on employer-financed trusts often referred to as Employee Benefit Trust schemes (EBTs) The objective of the legislation is to prevent the avoidance or deferral of income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on employment income. This will have a significant impact on Service Providers, Umbrella companies and other intermediaries who use trusts or loans to pay contractors, with a view to avoiding or deferring payment of tax and NICs.

Contractors could be victims of HMRC tax coding error

Monday 13th September, 2010
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Six million people paid incorrect tax in the two tax years to March 2009, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced and the 1.45 million people who HMRC say underpaid will be asked to pay a total of 2 billion Pounds in arrears.

Is this the end of IR35?

Thursday 24th June, 2010
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PCG has welcomed the clearest statement yet from the Coalition Government that IR35 is to be abolished.

Emergency budget update and how it affects contractors

Tuesday 22nd June, 2010
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Industry news
The Chancellor has positioned Tuesday's budget as a five-year plan to rebuild the British economy based on the Government's values of responsibility, freedom and fairness. It is certainly a budget that shows the Government's commitment to small businesses with good news in relation to Corporation Tax rates and NI thresholds which will be a relief to a lot of freelancers.

Recruitment sector party manifesto highlights

Monday 12th April, 2010
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The 6th May General Election promises to be the tightest for two decades, with latest opinion polls placing the Conservatives on average seven points ahead of Labour - a margin not likely to secure an outright Parliamentary majority. With the possibility of a Hung Parliament looming on the horizon, all party manifestos are being closely considered and analysed to understand the respective policy directions of the three main political parties.

Recession, recovery and the future for businesses and individuals in 2010

Thursday 4th February, 2010
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November 1949, Frank McNamara, head of the Hamilton Credit Corporation, and Alfred Bloomingdale met at Major's Cabin Grill, a well-known New York restaurant next to the Empire State Building. Over lunch, they discussed a problem Hamilton customer: someone who had borrowed money but was now unable to repay. At the end of the meal, McNamara was embarrassed to discover himself in a not dissimilar predicament.

The changing shape of employment

Wednesday 3rd February, 2010
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Few would doubt that the recession has had a dramatic impact on employment patterns in the UK. Combined with changes in employment legislation over the years and an employer-driven trend towards flexible working, the changes necessitated by the recession have resulted in a new emerging model for businesses of all sizes.

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Travel & Subsistence contractor update

Monday 21st December, 2015
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Posted by Julian Ball
In our Autumn Statement review we advised that the Chancellor had confirmed his intention to restrict the ability for contractors to get tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses and that the finer detail was due for release early December. This detail has now been released and as expected, the Government’s draft legislation and preliminary guidance on travel & subsistence (T&S) confirms, that "Individuals working through employment intermediaries will not be allowed to claim tax relief on their travel and subsistence (T&S) expenses, where the worker is under supervision, direction or control (SDC) in the manner in which they carry out the work."

What does 2016 hold for contractors?

Friday 15th January, 2016
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Posted by Kerry Hull
With the start of a new year bringing many changes in personal lives, it is a fitting time to look at what lies ahead for your professional life as well. Take a look at what trends will impact contractors the most this year.

The Contractor Market Report - December 2015 - Infographic

Wednesday 14th January, 2015
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Posted by Michelle Derungs
Each month we highlight key points taken from REC's Jobs Outlook Survey to bring you the latest contractor market trends.