GDPR for contractors and freelancers: have you missed anything?

GDPR

We’ve updated our privacy policy.

Before you chuck your laptop or tablet across the room, don’t worry – we’re just kidding. Well, we have updated it, but that’s not what this blog is about.

We’re not telling you what you need to do if you want us to be able to stay in touch, but rather making sure you know how, as a contractor or freelancer, GDPR might have affected you and how it could affect your business if you don’t take action.

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How to be a more environmentally conscious contractor or freelancer

Environmentally Conscious

Whether it’s banning baby wipes, putting a tax on plastic bottles or Iceland removing plastic packaging and palm oil from their own brand ranges, it seems everyone is thinking more and more about the environment at the moment. And quite rightly too. We should all be doing our bit to clean up the planet and start reversing the damage humans have done over the centuries.

When you’re an employee, it’s quite easy. Most businesses have environmental policies that ensure all workers help keep the office green. But when you’re a contractor or freelancer, it’s up to you and you alone to do your bit when you’re not in a client’s workspace.

So how can you easily make sure you’re being more environmentally conscious? Here are our top tips.

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IR35 Trouble? We’ve got the cover for you

IR35

Regular readers of this blog will know that we’ve covered IR35 fairly extensively in the recent past. Whether we’re talking about the ins and outs of what it actually is or highlighting examples of contractors who’ve fallen foul of the legislation, we like to think of it as a subject we know well.

But there’s only so much talking we can do. Sometimes action has to be taken. That’s why we’ve recently introduced our Legal Expenses Plus policy, our cover designed to help you should you find yourself in the midst of an IR35 investigation.

An IR35 investigation is not something any contractor wants on their plate. Regardless of whether you’re found to be inside IR35 or not, it’s time consuming, stressful, and a likely drain on finances given the amount of effort you’ll have to put into defending yourself.

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IR35 IRL – How much will getting caught cost you?

IR35

There was a time when IR35 was something of a bogeyman to contractors. Tall tales and horror stories. Lurking in the shadows. A looming spectre, but never quite tangible enough to make you feel its presence. Those days are over. Gone are the 1 in 60,000 odds of being caught.

In the last 18 months or so HMRC has ramped up its campaign to catch contractors working as disguised employees and therefore inside IR35. Need more proof? We’ve rounded up a few of the more prominent cases below.

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Everything a Contractor Needs to Know About IR35

IR35

IR35. Two letters. Two numbers. It might not seem like much, but it should be at the forefront of any contractor’s thoughts. Not understanding the implications of IR35 could be the difference between a trouble-free working existence and a huge, potentially business-ending, fine.

If you work in the public sector there’s a good chance you’ve already felt the sting of the recent reforms which have left independent workers at the likes of the NHS and BBC up in arms at their treatment.

Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance that the same reforms will roll out to the private sector in the near future, after an upcoming consultation due to be released this year. Given how prevalent the legislation is likely to become, it’s important that contractors make sure they know as much as possible.

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Top tips for organising your home office

Home Office Tips

As a contractor or freelancer – particularly if you’re a freelancer – you’ll spend a fair amount of time working from your home office. This will vary from person to person, of course, but most people have either a room or a section of a room in their house that they dedicate to work.

It’s not like working in an office where people will tell you where things get filed or how your space should look. Instead, it’s up to you. At Kingsbridge, we’ve picked up lots of tips from our self-employed clients over the years so we thought we’d share a few of our favourites in this blog.

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How could the TSB chaos have affected contractors and freelancers?

TSB Crisis

Spoiler alert: the answer is “significantly”.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars for the last week-and-a-bit, you can’t have failed to hear about the ongoing chaos at TSB as they attempted to migrate customer records from their old Lloyds TSB system to their new one.

If you’re not a TSB customer or an IT contractor, you may well have only given the story a fleeting glance. If so, you can bring yourself up to speed with the BBC’s timeline of events. Otherwise, all you really need to know is that all did not go as planned. There have been numerous problems including customers not having access to their accounts online, over the phone or in-branch, payments in and out of accounts not going through, and people being able to access accounts that were not their own.

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Why a home office spring clean can be essential for contractors and freelancers

Spring Cleaning

Despite appearances (until recently, at least) spring really is here and that means one thing: spring cleaning.

You’ve probably already given a thought to spring cleaning your home, getting your garden into order and perhaps even giving your car a thorough scrub inside and out. But have you really given any thought to your home office? Obviously, you’ve probably considered giving it a dust and a vacuum, but what about a proper, honest-to-goodness spring clean where you clean, tidy, organise, throw out stuff you don’t need and replace things that require replacing?

We’ve put together a list of reasons why you should bother.

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GDPR – What does it Mean for Contractors?

GDPR Contractors

Cyber-attacks have become more prevalent than ever in the last 12 months. A recent report from the National Cyber Security Centre noted that there had been over 1,100 attacks in the UK last year, of which over half (590) were deemed significant. 30 of those attacks, a number of which were in the Financial Services Sector, required assistance from government bodies.

To put it in even starker terms, the UK deals with more than 10 significant cyber-attacks every week – and that’s only taking into account those which were reported. Unfortunately, such attacks must now be considered par for the course when it comes to business, and we need to ensure that we are all prepared to deal with them.

With the much-discussed General Data Protection Regulation (better known by its acronym GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018 we’re taking a look at what exactly the implications will be for contractors and freelancers. How can you make sure you’re GDPR-ready?

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Practical tips for contractors and freelancers preparing for the end of the tax year

Practical Tips for Contractors

We know it doesn’t seem like much time has passed between the end of the last tax year and the end of this one, but we’re almost there already.

While there’s no need for you to submit your tax return immediately on 6 April, many contractors and freelancers don’t like to hang around. After all, there’s not much sense in waiting until the October and January deadlines to rush everything in.

Furthermore, if you operate on a cash in, cash out basis then your books are probably more or less good to go. So, what can contractors and freelancers do to prep for the end of the tax year and ensure submitting their 2017/2018 Self-Assessment is a breeze?

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