Independent Broker of the Year

Awards

We’ve had a busy few months at Kingsbridge HQ. September to December is very much awards season in the business world. Having made it to the very final stage of both APSCo Affiliate of the Year and Business of the Year at the Gloucestershire Business Awards only to be pipped at the post on the evening, we were delighted to win Independent Broker of the Year at the Insurance Times Awards last night.

Seen as the most prestigious event in the insurance industry calendar, the ITA’s welcomed all of the industry’s biggest players to the InterContinental at the O2 in London to celebrate a year’s worth of outstanding achievement. To win such a highly-regarded award in the company of our peers (and host Jimmy Carr) was an honour and one that was well-deserved in light of the continued growth and success of the business.

The judges gave the following rationale for the victory: “To grow fast as an independent broker you need to focus your expertise. The winner has done just that, working with recruiters to identify contractors who are under-insured, building relationships with over 400 recruitment firms across the UK, and rapidly growing turnover to £12m and profit to £5m.”

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our customers, to our business partners, and to our staff for the continued hard work they put into making Kingsbridge what it is today.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to celebrate!

Why getting insurance is a bit like getting your flu jab

Contractor Insurance Flu Jab

Why getting insurance is a bit like getting your flu jab

Flu season is upon us, and once again the NHS is hard at work convincing us to get our flu jab. The flu jab is offered for free to over 65s, people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women and children aged 2-10, and people outside these groups can pay to have the jab privately to get protected. As newspaper after newspaper publishes articles urging us to get vaccinated, we started to think about how getting your flu jab is a bit like organising insurance for your business: in your head, it seems like a big, scary, unnecessary expense and a pain to organise, but in reality, it is over quickly, easy to arrange, cheaper than you imagine and protects you from a far worse alternative.

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Self-employment in retirement

Retirement

65 is the new 35, and many of us are finding that we’re not quite ready to stop working when we hit retirement age. There are, of course, valid financial reasons for deciding to work longer. Many of us are expecting to live longer, and so being able to keep ourselves in a comfortable lifestyle for longer is an attractive prospect.

But more than that, work is a source of fulfilment to many people. It keeps us social and active both mentally and physically.

Having worked hard all our lives, when we hit retirement, most of us aren’t exactly aching to keep doing full-time, 9-5 hours in stressful jobs. A survey by Merrill Lynch found that only 5% of those at retirement age wanted to work full time, while 33% said they wanted to balance work and leisure.

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BBC in IR35 Trouble

BBC IR35

Released yesterday (15th November), a report from the National Audit Office has stated that the BBC required some freelancers to operate through personal service companies (PSCs.)

Investigation into the BBC’s engagement with personal service companies reveals that the BBC has paid nearly £700 million into personal service companies set up by its presenters and other workers over the past few years.

The findings further emphasise the shambolic nature of the off-payroll IR35 rules as they currently stand. The legislation, in its current format, lets down contractors and freelancers as well as the public sector bodies which seek to engage their skills.

With the private sector rollout currently scheduled for April 2020, it would be sensible for the government to iron out the cumbersome barriers to correct IR35 implementation as soon as possible. If this doesn’t happen, the transition is likely to be mired in difficulty.

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Budget 2018: Kingsbridge Reaction

Budget 2018

Another year, another Budget. In recent times, contractors and the self-employed have become used to watching the Chancellor’s pronouncements from behind the sofa. It would be an understatement to say that the last few announcements weren’t particularly kind to the contracting community, so it was understandable if many approached this October’s Budget with trepidation.

Amid much rumour and speculation, there was uncertainty as to how the self-employed would fare this time around. Although many in the community were hoping that proposed private sector IR35 reform would be abandoned, in truth it was never likely to be an option.

Despite a plethora of evidence to the contrary, in recent months the government has gone to some lengths to praise the success of IR35 reform in the public sector. The real question was a simpler one: would similar reforms apply to the private sector from April 2019 or April 2020?

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Happy Halloween – What really scares contractors and freelancers?

Halloween

It’s the spookiest time of the year: ghosts and ghouls around every corner; jack o’ lanterns glowing; annoying children ringing the doorbell every 10 minutes asking for sweets. But it’s not zombies and witches that we’re afraid of. Here are the top 5 things that give contractors nightmares this Halloween…

1.    Non-paying clients

You sent the invoice straightaway. You clearly outlined your payment period. You sent a polite chaser email. And yet, somehow, still, no money has appeared in your account. The dwindling balance sends a shiver down your spine! Yes, the non-paying client is the most terrifying spectre a contractor can encounter. They look just like normal clients…until the full moon comes out and the balance is due, then they show their true colours.

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Budget 2018: Contractor Preview

Budget 2018

Fright Night for Contractors and Freelancers?

It’s that time of the year again. No, not Halloween. The Budget. But that’s not to say that there won’t be a few scares in the Chancellor’s big red box come 29th October. So what might leave contractors and freelancers waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night this time around?

Firstly, the fact this year’s Budget is a little earlier than normal (it normally takes place in mid-to-late November) has set a few alarms bells ringing.

It could be nothing, and it may well be an attempt to get ‘distractions’ out of the way before pressing on with the real business of Brexit, but there is speculation that an early Budget date has been put in place in order to give the government time to perfect the launch of the heavily rumoured private sector IR35 reforms.

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The future of self-employment

Future of Self-Employment

At Kingsbridge, we work predominantly with contractors and freelancers, who still make up a large number of self-employed people in the UK. However, we’re also aware that the face of self-employment is ever-changing, particularly in recent years, and we’re seeing different roles emerging all the time.

So, what could the future of self-employment look like?

Contractors and freelancers

Going forward, contractors and freelancers will still be a huge part of the self-employed workplace, especially as employers begin to embrace more flexible working environments. Hiring contractors and freelancers on a project-by-project basis may well be more appealing to some employers, rather than having a full-time permanent employee-base who don’t necessarily have a lot to do between projects. Freelance workers can also be used to fill in gaps in a workforce with a high proportion of part-time workers.

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Don’t let your contractor CV become clichéd

CV Mistakes

Your CV (or, indeed, LinkedIn profile) is the first thing prospective clients will see when you apply to work with them and, of course, you want to set yourself apart from the other contractors in your field.

Let us tell you now, the way to do this is not by filling your CV with meaningless, clichéd buzzwords that are more likely to send prospective clients looking in the opposite direction. The Plain English Campaign largely deals with getting jargon out of public comms, but that ethos can be applied to your CV too. So, instead of rubbish, fill your CV with simple facts that tell clients all they need to know about you.

What are the words and phrases to avoid?

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