Brexit: The Contractor’s View

In or out? Remain or leave? The question is a simple one, but rarely has there been such fevered debate around any topic as there has been about the upcoming EU referendum. With just over a week to go until the votes are cast, it would seem that no one is entirely certain as to which way the vote will swing. A damning indictment of two poorly orchestrated campaigns both beset by dubious propaganda and petty infighting, or simply a true reflection of public hand-wringing over the most important political and economic decision in a generation?

It’s not for us to say which way we’d like the vote to go, but it’s imperative that we give our clients a voice. Contractors, freelancers, and the self-employed make a huge contribution to the UK economy but it seems little consideration has been given to how a Brexit would impact their way of working. As David Cameron recently noted, “the self-employed are a key part of our long-term economic plan for the country” and we believe their views should not be ignored.

We recently sent out a survey to our customer base asking a few key questions. Will they be heading to the polls? How will they be voting? Are they worried about the impact a Brexit would have on their jobs and businesses, or are they looking forward to a new dawn?

 

Kingsbridge Referendum Infographic

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How to get the best out of LinkedIn as a contractor

LinkedIn for Contractors

LinkedIn can be invaluable for contractors, particularly in terms of advertising your skills and services and being visible to hiring managers and recruiters in your sector. However, there’s more to LinkedIn than just uploading your CV, leaving it there and hoping somebody spots it. We’ve pulled together some top tips for making sure your profile is at the top of searches.

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Common Mistakes Made by New Contractors

Common Mistakes

Becoming a contractor after being in permanent, full-time employment can be a daunting step to take, so the last thing you want is someone telling you that you might be doing it wrong. But so many new contractors make the same initial mistakes as each other that you can learn and (hopefully) avoid making them yourself.

At Kingsbridge, we speak to contractors all the time so we’ve pulled together some of the top mistakes they wish they hadn’t made when they were new to the game.

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Bomb Scare at Old Trafford

Old Trafford Bomb Scare

Our customers often ask us why they need a certain type of insurance cover, and we’ve always found that the best way to explain is by giving them examples. As you may already know, here at Kingsbridge we provide a single, easy to manage package of insurance containing all the cover a modern day contractor or freelancer needs (specifically Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, Employers’ Liability, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, and Personal Accident cover). One of the most commonly claimed on parts of our policy is Professional Indemnity (also know as PI).

If you’ve been keeping half an eye on the back pages recently, you’ll  know what happened at Old Trafford last weekend. To cap off an already abject season, Manchester United’s match against Bournemouth was called off just before kick-off due to the discovery of a ‘suspect package’ in the stadium. Unfortunately, said suspect package wasn’t the long-absent free-flowing, attacking football that the club are famous for, but rather a fake bomb mistakenly left behind and attached to wiring in the toilets after a terror exercise in the stadium the previous week.

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Common Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Questions

At Kingsbridge, we often get asked certain questions time and time again. We don’t mind of course – that’s why we’re here. In fact, we thought it might be a good idea to put some of those questions up on the blog so you’ve always got the answers to hand when you need them.

Does the client not cover my insurances?

As you are not a permanent employee of the end client you would not be covered under their insurances unless specifically stated otherwise in your contract. If you make a mistake or damage something the end client is the most likely party to make a claim against you. In addition as a limited company you are your own entity and are not supposed to be under the supervision or control of the end client. Having your own insurance is a key IR35 indicator as it demonstrates you are a bonafide company and fiscally responsible for your own risk.

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How to avoid and deal with late payments

Avoiding Late Payment

It’s one of the horrors of being a contractor: you do the work, submit your invoice, wait the required period and then no payment materialises. Often, a late payment can be an honest mistake but sometimes, sadly, clients or companies may hold out on you so you need to make sure you are protected. We’ve gathered our years of experience working with contractors to put together this guide on avoiding and dealing with late payments.

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How to get work as a contractor

How To Find Work as a Contractor

When you first move to become a contractor, the idea that you might be sitting there with nothing to do and no income is, quite frankly, terrifying. Of course, once you’ve been self-employed for a while, you’ll have word-of-mouth and referrals behind you, which will see offers of work coming directly to you. This blog, however, will give you some tips and ideas on how to find work as a new contractor, besides the more traditional job boards.

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Tax Changes for Contractors

Contractor Tax Changes

With all the political machinations currently taking place, it’s easy to forget that the new tax year begins today. As of midnight on 6th April a number of new policies took effect, including several that’ll have an impact on contractors and independent professionals. Although the most recent Budget still looms rather large in the proverbial rear-view mirror, these changes relate to the Budget that took place in July last year.

First and foremost, the tax rules surrounding dividends are now changing. The first £5,000 of dividend income earned by shareholders will be completely free of tax, with any amounts over that initial marker being taxed at 7.5% (for any income falling within the basic rate band). Beyond that, higher rate and additional rate earnings will also be subject to higher tax levels of 32.5% and 38.1% respectively. Although this will likely affect the take-home pay of many contractors, it could be by as little as 2% to 4% (see this article on ContractorUK for a more detailed breakdown).

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Budget 2016 Analysis: ‘A Budget That Backs Small Business’

Budget 2016

George Osborne’s latest Budget as Chancellor passed today as expected, with no real surprises. There was good news for the self-employed, but the spectre of a clampdown on the use of Personal Service Companies (PSCs) by public sector employees still looms like a heavy cloud.

As we’ve mentioned on these pages before, Osborne’s tightening of the vice on the so-called ‘Paxman tax’ comes predominantly as a result of public outcry at perceived tax evasion by celebrities and sports stars. However, such measures will also impact those contractors working in the public sector, meaning that from April 2017 they will now face investigation from their clients and agencies to confirm whether they are ‘true contractors’ or simply a ‘disguised employee’. If the client or agency believes that the contractor in question is a disguised employee, it will be required to deduct tax at source from all payments made.

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