Bring on the 2018 APSCo Charity Ball!

APSCo Ball

Aloha ahiahi! That’s ‘good evening’ in Hawaiian (yes, we had to Google it.) Why the change in language? It’s not the tropical weather we’ve been experiencing lately, or a reflection of our desire to escape these shores for a more suitable summer environment. It’s actually because the 2018 APSCo Charity Ball is happening very soon, on 7th June. The theme? ‘Aloha’. Think flower garlands, surfboards, grass skirts, palm trees, and a coconut or two.

The event is taking place in Manchester at the Deansgate Hilton, and an evening of generosity, enthusiasm and, most importantly, a great sense of fun is on the cards. Celebrating the best recruitment has to offer, the night out will raise vital funds for a great cause – Saint Ann’s Hospice in Manchester.

We’re delighted to be sponsoring the event, and are very much looking forward to it. The APSCo Ball has become an annual highlight of many people’s calendars and this year will be no different. Need a little more information? Simply click on this link to learn more. Make sure to check back in on the blog in a week or so for pictures and a summary of how the night unfolded.

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.

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Government announces consultation around private sector IR35 reform

Private Sector IR35

With a certain sense of inevitability, on 18th May the government announced their intention to carry out a consultation on tax avoidance in the private sector.

Any of those in the contracting community with even a passing interest in IR35 legislation will have known this was coming, the question having always been ‘when?’ rather than ‘if’. But what impact is it likely to have going forward?

When announcing the consultation period, the government were at pains to point out that “no decisions have been made” in terms of rolling out IR35 reform into the private sector and made it clear that they were actively seeking opinion on how the rules around the controversial legislation can be improved.

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Universal Credit system does not support the self-employed, report confirms

Universal Credit

A committee of MPs have poured scorn upon Universal Credit rules which they say risk “crushing” the self-employed and start-ups. In a report published on 10th May, the MPs state that the benefit has been “designed with little regard…for people starting and running their own business” with the ultimate consequence not stopping far short of “crushing potentially viable, productive enterprises.”

Despite freelancers, contractors, and the self-employed making up around a sixth of the entire UK workforce, the revelations come as little surprise given the cavalier attitude the government has displayed towards them in the past. With IR35 reform rumbling on, and a rolling out of private sector reform appearing inevitable, the Universal Credit blow is simply the latest example of the callous disregard shown towards an area of the workforce that has continued to grow despite the obstacles placed in its path.

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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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To pet or not to pet? Should I get a furry freelancer companion?

Pets in the Workplace

Freelancing is wonderful, it really is. You work on the jobs you want to work on, get paid the rate you want to be paid and work the hours you want to work. However, there is one great big downside that nearly all freelancers mention when asked: it’s lonely.

It’s why, if you go into any given coffee shop during the average working day you’ll see freelancers tapping away on their laptops, just to be around other people. Of course, there are other ways to ease solitude without spending £10 a day on flat whites and toasties. The most popular option? Get a pet.

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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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Productivity hacks for contractors and freelancers

Productivity Hacks

When you only have to answer to yourself, it’s easy to slip into an unproductive rut. Some days, Homes Under the Hammer is just too tempting. Others, you just can’t settle until the room has been dusted.

At Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, we’ve spent years chatting to contractors and freelancers and productivity is often an issue that comes up. We’d like to share some of the advice we’ve picked up during that time and share it with you so you can be the most productive you’ve ever been.

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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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How have IR35 reforms affected contracting?

IR35

It’s been almost a year since the UK government’s controversial reforms to IR35 in the public sector and, with rumours of similar upheaval coming to the private sector in the future, we’re beginning to see the effects of the changes.

What were the reforms?

If you’re not a contractor working in the public sector, or if you’re a freelancer and haven’t had to deal with IR35, you may well have missed the finer details of the reforms. If you don’t know what IR35 is, first read our quick guide to bring yourself up to speed.

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