There’s an old English proverb that says “A man without a moustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.” We don’t know how you take your tea, but it’s safe to presume that whoever came up with that line preferred their men with a little upper lip plumage.
Did you know that, by the start of 2014, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills estimated that 99.3% of UK private sector businesses were small and medium-sized enterprises (better known as SMEs)? Their combined £1.6 trillion annual turnover accounted for 47% of private sector turnover.
Despite all the political, social, and economic doom and gloom that wrapped around 2016 like a suffocating vine, Britain’s self-employed continued to rage against the dying of the light. Damian Hinds, the current Employment Minister, recently hailed “the resilience of the UK labour market”, citing the fact that Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.8% – its lowest level in over a decade. Coupled with that, the Office of National Statistics’ employment report for July – September 2016 revealed that the number of self-employed rose to 4.79 million, an increase of 213,000 for the year. That figure now equates to over 15% of the total UK workforce.
Why mention the above? Because instead of the recognition and support they deserve, contractors, freelancers and the self-employed found themselves under sustained attack in the 2016 Autumn Statement.
The Contractor Insurance Checklist is our new blog series that will act as your guide to everything contractor insurance. Not only will it go into what the different aspects of contractor insurance are but, more importantly, they will explain why you need them and what could happen to you if you don’t have them.
Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be running articles on various factors of contractor insurance so you can go through the parts you need to in an easily digestible format — after all, we know most contractors are too busy to be rummaging through huge, long guides.
Our good friends over at Brookson recently published their predictions for next week’s Autumn Statement (taking place on 23rd November). Read on below for Victoria McDonnell’s thoughts on what might transpire:
This year, the Autumn Statement is set to be a pinnacle moment for the new government, as the Tory administration is known to be keen to roll-out its vision for the economy post-Brexit and; dare we mention something even more divisive, post-Trump.
But if it was up to the estimated 1.4million contractors, freelancers and self-employed professionals in the UK, a chunk of whom are our clients, Autumn Statement 2016 would be more granular and less ‘big picture.’ From talking with them, we know that these independent workers want less red tape, more legislative clarity and initiatives or tax rate changes able to genuinely benefit professionals who work via a PSC or umbrella company.
Regular readers of this blog will know that we held the first Kingsbridge No Email Day last month. Such was its success, we’ve decided to make it a (semi) regular occurrence. No Email Day II (all sequel-based puns welcome) arrives at Kingsbridge on Thursday 17th November. The rules remain the same – see below for our original rationale.
We’re throwing a little extra ‘carrot’ into the mix this time too – there’ll be treats laid on for all staff, and all workers will be encouraged to dress down for the day.
Expect an ecstatic review of NED II in due course.
As a rapidly growing company, we’re always on the lookout for new staff at Kingsbridge. In the last month or two we’ve added quite a few new faces to the team, and we wanted to take a minute to introduce you to our most recent recruits. Below, meet Sophie Harrington, Sean Walker, Tanya Walters, Tessa Whittock, and Ben Fox.
Name: Sophie Harrington
Job Role: Customer Services Administrator
Previous: Sophie joined the Kingsbridge team after six fruitful years at the John Lewis Partnership. She will be looking after the daily concerns of our client base, as well as making sure that all policies run smoothly. If you call Kingsbridge (and you’re more than welcome to – it’s 01242 808740) Sophie’s will likely be the first voice you hear.
Press Release: APSCo Affiliate of the Year awarded to recruitment specialists Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday 18th October saw the second major award win of the year for the team at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance. Following on from their triumph at the 2016 UK Broker Awards, where they won the prestigious Customer Service Award, Kingsbridge went on to collect the gong for Affiliate Member of the Year at the 2016 APSCo Awards for Excellence.
The number of independent professionals — be they contractors or freelancers — is certainly on the rise in recent years, with more and more people declaring themselves self-employed. But is there a gender divide when it comes to contracting and, if so, why might that be?
As we recently reported, there is a growing number of women taking to freelancing, with roughly 40% of freelancers identifying as female. Contracting is a slightly different story, however. Figures from across different sectors back in 2014, including IT and financial services, suggest around one in five contractors were women. Although we know numbers have grown in the last couple of years, they are not growing at the same pace as female freelancers — something we at Kingsbridge can attest to.
So why are women favouring freelancing over contracting? This could be down to a couple of reasons that perhaps demonstrate more ingrained gender divides across UK employment in general.
Fresh from our victorious evening at the 2016 UK Broker Awards (which you can read about here), we spent yesterday at the 2016 edition of the APSCo Awards for Excellence. Having spent the day in excellent company in the fine surrounds of the RBS Building in London’s Bishopsgate, we were delighted to pick up the award for Affiliate Member of the Year.
We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at APSCo for the award, for their impeccable hosting skills, and for the lunchtime feast. We’d also like to thank the guest speaker, the ever insightful Andrew Burke. It was a pleasure seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones too.
To be recognised by APSCo, and to receive such a prestigious award, was a proud moment for everyone at Kingsbridge. We’re already looking forward to next year. Time for us to order a new trophy cabinet!