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What does 2016 hold for contractors?

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Friday 15th Jan, 2016

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. Specifically, contractors can expect significant growth in several industries in the coming year. Take a look at what trends will impact contractors the most this year.

The Northern Powerhouse

With the chancellor making a pledge to bridge the economic gap between the north and south by improving links across the region, journey times are expected to halve. Some £30 million will be used over the course of five years in order to supply an Oyster card-style public transport payments system in the north.

Titled 'The Northern Powerhouse', the investment aims to promote growth in towns and cities, diverting money and power and hence increasing contractor demand in the construction and engineering sectors during the building phase.

Once the system is completed, it will also allow for easier travel in the north for contractors from various job locations.

Technology from every angle

The entire country is expected to put a further emphasis on technology in the new year. With the opening of the UK IoT (Internet of Things) research hub, and cyber-attacks becoming more frequent, there are various issues to focus on within tech.

Importantly, contractors will be utilised for critical updates to security systems in every type and size of company. Since these jobs are on a need-basis, there will be little competition from permanent employees for these positions, and contractors will be highly sought after.

The demand will be similar for IT jobs involved in IoT. With new devices and software introduced into many businesses, IT contractors will be needed to ensure proper installation. As increased connectivity will be a theme, contractors with these niche technical skills will be in high demand.

Legislative changes

It was recently revealed in the Autumn Statement that HMRC wants to restrict tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses for contractors that are subject to supervision, direction and control. The government believes that these measures will raise £155m in tax in 2016/17.

These measures are due to come in as of April and there are still some questions regarding SDC which the government will have to clarify, so more updates are expected leading up to spring.

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