It’s a good time to be a female IT contractor

Female Contractors

Last month, it was reported that the Nixon Williams report showed a surge in the number of female IT contractors – rising from 16,568 in 2016 to 20,648 in 2018. That’s a massive jump of 24.6%.

The same report also demonstrated that self-employment among IT professionals is also on the up, rising much more quickly than the numbers of permanent employees in the same sector. There was a 4.5% increase in the number of IT contractors, compared to just a 3.9% increase in the number of IT employees. That said, numbers for the latter are higher overall, with 701,000 employees versus 125,012 contractors.

It’s safe to assume that a big proportion of these new IT contractors are, in fact, women, suggesting it’s a great time for women to take the plunge into the self-employed life.

Read more

Jaguar Land Rover: Brexit Threatens our Investment Plans for UK

Jaguar Land Rover Archery

In the latest sign that Brexit might upset the apple cart more than we’ve been led to believe, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth today warned that a “bad” Brexit deal would have serious ramifications for the company’s £80bn investment plans for the UK.

Crucially, JLR is one of the single biggest employers of contractor workers in the country. The prospect of curtailing their UK operation as a result of Brexit, therefore, would have severe implications for a large number of contractors currently working there.

Though JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, have been at pains to state that their “heart and soul is in the UK” it noted that without frictionless trade its UK investment plans would be in “jeopardy”.

Read more

‘Self-employed’ Hermes couriers entitled to workers rights, tribunal finds

Hermes Self-Employed

Hot on the heels of the landmark Supreme Court decision that classified a Pimlico Plumbers contractor as a worker, thereby allowing him access to working rights previously only accessible to the ‘traditionally’ employed, comes another ruling that could further blur the lines between workers and the self-employed.

Earlier this week an employment tribunal in Leeds ruled that a group of 65 Hermes couriers were entitled to employment rights, minimum wage and holiday pay. In what amounts to one of the most significant victories against what some have called the exploitation of gig economy workers, the couriers are also now able to reclaim unlawful deductions from their wages that had arisen as a result of their classification as self-employed.

Read more

Missing something? Protect your pocket with our IR35 cover

IR35

We’re a bit like a nagging parent at Kingsbridge when it comes to IR35. Do your laces up. Eat your vegetables. Make sure you’ve got the right cover in place for you and your business.

But like a nagging parent, we only do it because we care. In recent years we’ve seen more and more drawn-out legal battles contesting IR35 decisions, and the outcomes are generally less than desirable. Whether it’s the fine itself, or simply the spectre of having to defend yourself against the government, finding yourself in an IR35 investigation can be stressful, costly, and time-consuming.

Read more

News Round-Up: 15th June 2018

Contracting News

Although the decision around Pimlico Plumbers and the rights of gig economy workers is the most important contractor-related story to hit the news in the last few weeks, a few other items have certainly piqued our interest. From digital security breaches that highlight the importance of protecting data you hold to announcements of layoffs at some of the UK’s biggest manufacturers, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. Read on for more.

Read more

Pimlico Plumbers Ruling a Landmark Decision for Gig Workers?

Pimlico Plumbers

Anyone with even a passing interest in the debate around workers’ rights in the gig economy (or truly terrible hair) will have taken note of the outcome of the long-gestating Pimlico Plumbers case that reached an end at the Supreme Court yesterday.

For those of you who need a little catching up, a plumber named Gary Smith won his legal battle for working rights in a ruling that could have significant ramifications for freelancers and the gig economy in general.

Since its emergence, the status of workers in the gig economy has been hotly contested. Despite often working long hours for the same company in roles that would once have been considered full-time employment, workers for the likes of Deliveroo, Uber, and Pimlico Plumbers have long been denied the perks of ‘traditional’ employment – sick pay, holiday allowance, a stable salary and so on.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Increasing number of students gravitating towards self-employment, survey finds

Student Self Employment

We like to keep our ear to the ground here at Kingsbridge. We’ve been vocal in the past about the positive impact of contractors, freelancers, and the self-employed on the UK economy. But what does the future hold? The working world is changing rapidly, and the next generation of workers will find themselves in an entirely different situation to their parents.

The path these days isn’t as clear cut as it once was. Gone is a lifetime spent in one job, gradually working your way up the ladder. Workers today move and adapt, changing jobs, industries, and skill sets whenever they need or want to.

We’ve noticed that fluidity in our role as insurers, and a recent survey by print company Solopress indicated a similar trajectory going forward. Graduate jobs, the survey found, are being ditched in favour of self-employment.

Read more