Should you work under a Statement of Work?

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It’s likely that, as a contractor, you’ve not heard of a Statement of Work (SoW) before and there’s not really a reason why you should have. Until recently, they weren’t particularly commonplace but as we hurtle towards the implementation of IR35 reforms in the private sector, they’re very much on the rise.

There is one very good reason for this; SoW agreements – formal arrangements put in place to guarantee work carried out by a contractor for a client is delivered in line with particular standards and expectations – heavily suggest an outside IR35 status, and can even act to move any potential IR35 responsibility and liability down the supply chain away from the end client.

So, now we’ve piqued your interest, sit back while we explain all about Statements of Work and why you might use them.

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How to stop working stupid hours as a contractor or freelancer

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It’s one of the most common complaints the Kingsbridge team hears from contractors and freelancers: “I went self-employed so I could be in control of my hours, but I’m working more than ever!” And it’s often true: contractors and freelancers regularly tell us that they’re up late most nights, working weekends, never taking holidays and generally ending up suffering burnout.

But how do you stop working stupid hours? A big part of it is identifying why you’re working such long hours all the time and see what needs to change. Here are some of the more common ones that we hear from clients.

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Government announces IR35 review – but don’t wait for final legislation to act

Last week, the Government announced they are launching a review into the implementation of IR35 reforms in the private sector, a move that will no doubt have many contractors excited at the thought of delays to, or even the cancellation of, the changes. However, before you and your clients go popping open the champagne, we recommend taking a look at the wording of the announcement and continuing to prepare for the incoming reforms as if nothing has changed.

Announcing the review, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.”

It appears, then, that the Government is still very much committed to the reforms launching 6th April and that this review is into how they will be implemented, rather than into the reforms themselves.

Kingsbridge’s IR35 advice

At Kingsbridge, we’ve been watching the IR35 reforms closely. Our Legal Manager, Nicola Hayman, had this to say on the review announcement:

“While we welcome the fact that HMRC has recognised a need to take another look at how these changes will be implemented, there is no escaping the fact that it is now too late for a thorough review of the proposed reforms.

“Furthermore, the Government’s admission that the purpose of this consultation is to make ‘sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible’ confirms that any delay is extremely unlikely.

“With this in mind, we are urging the businesses that we partner with to continue to prepare for incoming reforms – there simply isn’t time to wait for the outcome of the review and final legislation.”

In short, don’t wait to see if this review changes anything as it’s highly unlikely that it will. Just carry on making preparations in time for 6th April to ensure a smooth transition for yourself and your clients.

What will the impact of IR35 be?

At Kingsbridge, we’re hopeful that the effects of the IR35 reforms will be minimal and it’s up to recruiters to communicate this to their clients so that they don’t miss out on the amazing talent pool of contractors out there. As Hayman puts it:

“Contractors represent a vibrant and increasingly important part of the UK economy, and this point further emphasises the fact that there is no reason why companies should be concerned about continuing to engage with this talent pool after April.

“Even when using HMRC’s own calculations, the vast majority of PSC contractors are genuinely self-employed – and recruiters should communicate this fact to any clients who may be spooked by the recent flurry of blanket bans so that they don’t consider implementing their own veto on contractors.

“In our experience, good recruiters are happy to place genuine contractors outside of IR35, and will work with employers to determine the status of these individuals, helping the client to overcome reasonable care requirements.”

 

For more information, please email IR35@kingsbridge.co.uk.

 


 

How should I set my daily rate as a contractor?

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As we hurtle towards another new year, people everywhere start thinking about pay rises, and contractors are no exception.

 

You might be an employee thinking about becoming a contractor in 2020 and working out what your daily rate should be for the first time. You might be a seasoned contractor, giving yourself a pay increase. Either way there are things you need to consider to ensure you set the correct rate for yourself.

 

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A contractor’s New Year’s resolutions for 2020

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It’s that time of year when the words “next year I’m going to drink less/join the gym/lose weight” start popping out of our mouths. Quite often, we really do mean it as well. We’ll then all hurtle into 2020 with the best of intention before promptly giving up on 12th January. But what about making some New Year’s resolutions that you can keep?

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A self-employed Christmas

 

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Before you became self-employed, Christmas at work was probably either the most fun you had all year, or a horror you’d prefer to forget. Office Christmases can be wildly hit or miss and, if we’re being honest, can be often more of a miss (except here at Kingsbridge HQ, obviously).

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