Substitution Clauses: What, Why and How

Substitution Clause

One subject that has come up repeatedly in our recent blogs, especially those focusing on IR35 regulations, is the idea of a “substitution clause”. But what exactly is a substitution clause, and why do people keep urging you to have one?

Most contractors and freelancers operate as individuals, taking on projects themselves and seeing them through to completion. However, a substitution clause is a section within your contract that tells your clients of your right to provide an alternate person or persons to carry out the work that you have been contracted to do.

It can be useful if:

  • you’re ill
  • you have a family emergency or other issue
  • you’re on holiday or abroad for another job but you have clients that need looking after
  • you want to temporarily step back from work for some reason

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Grids, Likes, Followers and Connections: Which social media platform suits your contractor style?

Social Media

Despite the hype around social media, there are lots of reasons that contractors might be tempted to avoid it altogether for business use. It takes investment in terms of time and, increasingly, money, as platforms tighten their algorithms to restrict the reach of business posts. It’s easy to get wrong, and it’s hard to do it really well when you don’t have a dedicated social media team in-house. But equally, not using social media could be a wasted opportunity for contractors. Our advice? Use it, but use it smartly. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and target one or two key platforms that best fit the needs of your business and get you in front of the right audience. In this guide we take a look at four of the most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll look at which platforms are most suitable for which types of content, and the types of client they will allow you to connect with, to help you kickstart your social media strategy.

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Local business groups: getting involved

Business Group

Contracting and freelancing can be a lonely game. It can feel like you’re in a bit of a bubble, isolated from the “real world”, and unable to build up collegial relationships. One valuable way to build up your profile, networks and client base is to get involved with a local business group. The broad benefit of joining a group like this is that ever-present business buzzword: “networking”. There are a wide variety of different relationships you might build and opportunities that you might discover. This blog looks at some of the key benefits to becoming part of a business network as a contractor or freelancer.

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We Love Freelancing

Freelancing

Freelancing sometimes gets a bit of a kicking in the press and on social media. If you listen to the naysayers, it’s exploitative, unstable, unsocial, and insecure. Last month on Twitter, journalist Amelia Tate offered an alternative view, saying that she found freelancing “extremely enjoyable”,  very “lucrative” and that it had had a positive impact on her mental health. Hundreds of freelancers joined in to say exactly what they loved about freelancing – here are just a few of the top reasons freelancers love their jobs.

“I see so much negativity about freelancing + I just want to weigh in for anyone considering it that I personally find it extremely enjoyable + v lucrative + have substantially better mental health than when staff. every experience is diff, but would hate for people to be put off!”Amelia Tate, freelance journalist

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Introduction to Statement of Work (SoW): What it is, and isn’t

Statement of Work

This is a guest post from Stuart Juggins, founder of Aardent. You can find more information about who Aardent are and what they can do for recruiters at the bottom of this piece.

What is a Statement of Work?

A Statement of Work or SoW in basic terms is a contract setting out the commercial agreement between two parties, which is used to define and document a set of objectives, outcomes, tasks, terms and financial conditions to be measured against.

The SoW is legally binding and as such should always clearly state the specific activities required to be provided, namely the Deliverables and Milestones. Any engagement that utilises a SoW should also detail all of the relevant payment conditions for the respective deliverables and milestones, stating conditions for when payments will be triggered.

The SoW will document all of the activity in detail that the chosen supplier (a contractor, consultancy etc.) and procurer (the client) is responsible for completing, along with the duration of the project / engagement and specifying how and when payments will be made. All of this activity will be based against the completion of specific milestones and can be paid on a time & materials, capped T&M or fixed-price basis.

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The 2019 APSCo Charity Ball

APSCo

Annually, the good people at APSCo hold a ball in support of a chosen charity. Each year the ball has a theme. 2017, for example, had ‘Miami Beach’. 2018 was based around the idea of ‘Aloha’. This year, on Friday 14th June, they’re going for something a little different – ‘Enter the Dragon’. Think Bruce Lee. Chinese dragons. Cheongsams. With centuries worth of Chinese tradition to choose from, it should be a spectacular event for all those in attendance.

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Future Perfect? The Challenges Ahead for the Staffing Industry

Staffing

In our final piece following on from last year’s Industry Insight event, we’re taking a look at what the future might hold for the recruitment industry as well as the challenges change is creating within the staffing ecosystem. We’ll be borrowing from John Nurthern’s excellent presentation, and if you wish to do further reading there is a wealth of information on the SIA website.

There has been, and continues to be, a fundamental shift in the way that people are working –perhaps more so than at any time since women entered the workforce in large numbers after the war. It could even be said that the freelancer surge is the industrial revolution of our time.

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Four-day week – could it work for contractors?

Four-Day Week

May is one of our favourite months here at Kingsbridge. It’s not just the blossom falling from the trees, that first smouldering barbecue of the year, or the thrill of needing to get the suncream out again. There’s also the fact that May treats us to not one but two Bank Holiday Mondays. Of course, for busy contractors and freelancers, sometimes taking a four-day week seems like a luxury only available to those in a steady 9 to 5. However, the chat around the idea of a four-day working week as standard has been hotting up lately. Since its annual conference last September, the TUC (Trades Union Congress) has been consistently calling for a four-day week as a way for employees to share in the benefits of the tech revolution. And research foundation the Wellcome Trust recently announced – and then spectacularly abandoned – a plan to trial a four-day week among its 800 head office staff. All of which got us wondering: is the four-day week a good idea? And could it work for contractors and freelancers? After all, freedom to set your own hours and work flexibly is a major draw to the contractor life for many people.

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The biggest unexpected costs of self-employment

Costs

Self-employment as a contractor can seem like an easy way to keep your costs down: low overheads, no wage bill, perhaps a home office to save on commuting costs. However, the reality is that even experienced contractors can get caught out by all sorts of unexpected expenses. Here’s our list of the top unanticipated spends that contractors and freelancers face – and some tips on how to prepare for them.

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Nice try: dubious expenses claims

Expenses

We can’t imagine a job at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is always a barrel of laughs, but we’re sure that these outlandish expenses claims must have raised a few smiles around the office when they came in. Although the new tax year is now in full swing, it’s always a good idea to take a look back through some of the weird, hilarious and just downright cheeky expenses claims that self-employed workers have tried to sneak through the tax system over the past few years.

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