Weekend Reading – 29/03/18

Contractor News

Read on for this week’s news round-up. We’re taking a look at a variety of topics, from IR35 and Brexit to the banking and finance industry:

Businesses face unanswered questions a year from Brexit – sector by sector analysis

“With only a year to go until Britain leaves the EU, a mounting backlog of unresolved problems is causing business to take evasive action – despite government attempts to buy more time with a transition deal.

More than half of large companies have already put emergency contingency plans into action, according to a survey, and in key sectors such as insurance and transport there are warnings of higher prices and disruption for customers if the fragile truce breaks down.

British and EU governments last week agreed to postpone discussions over Northern Ireland in order to provisionally agree that a 21-month transition phase could begin after March 2019, but only so long as outstanding disagreements are solved nearer the time.”

Hammer blow for HMRC as contractor wins latest IR35 case

“A contractor has defeated HMRC in the second IR35 ruling to emerge in two months. In the case of MDCM Ltd v Revenue & Customs, construction contractor Mark Daniels won his appeal concerning a contract covering tax years 2012/13 to 2013/14.

During this time, Daniels’ services were engaged by Structure Tone Limited (STL), via Solutions Recruitment Limited. HMRC argued that this engagement amounted to a contract of employment between Daniels and STL.

“As it stands, this is a hammer blow to HMRC,” says ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “This judgment suggests that a contractor who is not controlled, is paid a daily rate, has no notice period or benefits, and is not part and parcel, should not be caught by IR35.”

Banking and finance have vacuumed up the talent

“Many engineering graduates have chosen Wall Street and the City over manufacturing. … A more plausible reason why innovative juices are channelled away from manufacturing could be the sucking sound from the City of London.”

IR35 drives IT contracting down and threatens flexible working

“Further evidence of the impact of rebooted IR35 rules has emerged in new research findings from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo): placements for permanent professionals climbed robustly year-on-year in February 2018, while those for contracting professionals plunged due to IR35.

APSCo’s member recruiters, who specialise in the professional jobs market, reported a 10% year-on-year rise in permanent placements in February, while demand for contracting professionals fell across many of the trade body’s core sector groups.

Although some of these decreases were relatively modest, the overall decline in contractor use amounted to 17% year-on-year. APSCo attributes this to a major year-on-year decrease of 38% in IT contracting after last April’s public sector IR35 reforms. The only sector to see an increase of contract roles was Finance, where demand climbed by 11%.”

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