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    Crystal News

    IPSE applauds new investment-boosting tax break for North Sea oil producers

    February 26th, 2015

    In the wake of thousands of job cuts in the oil and gas industry caused by tumbling oil prices, Umbrella Company Employees and other freelancers contracting in the sector are set to benefit from a new investment tax break for North Sea explorers. Reports are emerging that the chancellor, George Osborne, intends to introduce the new allowance in the March 2015 budget in an effort to boost investment in the industry, which traditionally provides work for many thousands of independent contractors. The industry in many respects is the perfect setting for flexible independent professionals, as it frequently requires specialist expertise at very short notice. IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals […]

    Freelancing and self-employment continues to rise strongly, ONS figures reveal

    February 23rd, 2015

    Are the ranks of the UK’s professional contracting community expanding in number? New figures for the ONS certainly suggest that they are, as between October-December 2013 and the same quarter in 2014 the number of people choosing contracting and self-employment rose by 88,000 (2%) and the number of women opting to go it alone surged dramatically. The number of women choosing to become their own bosses during that time leapt by 77,000, a spectacular increase of 5.6%. IPSE chief executive Chris Bryce referred to “the steady march” of self-employment and freelancing and warmly welcomed the rise in the number of women choosing to go into business for themselves. This was, […]

    NES Global Talent opens the door to IT contracting opportunities in oil and gas

    February 19th, 2015

    Umbrella Company IT professionals interested in contracting in the oil and gas industry are about to find it easier to find choice assignments thanks to a new initiative from NES Global Talent. The recruitment giant was established in 1978 and provides a comprehensive range of contract and permanent talent solutions not only to the oil and gas sector but also to the construction, infrastructure, power, manufacturing, transportation and life sciences sectors. With the appointment of IT recruitment expert Peter Staniland as senior consultant at its Altrincham office, NES will now be focussing on a new initiative to supply permanent and contract IT talent to the oil and gas sector. Demand […]

    Higher productivity should come before sustainable higher pay, business groups tell PM

    February 16th, 2015

    The prime minister’s recent call for increased wages has met with a cool response from business groups, which argue that the priority should instead be improving productivity. Mr Cameron invited business leaders at last week’s British Chambers of Commerce annual conference to pass on the benefits of the economic recovery to their workforces in the form of pay rises. He said: “Now that your costs are falling and it’s cheaper to do business – I’m confident that more businesses will pass on that good economic news to their workers, in rising pay cheques and higher earnings.” Katja Hall, the deputy director of the CBI, said that wages were expected to […]

    FCSA and Umbrella Companies join forces to correct HMRC misconceptions about Umbrella Employment

    February 12th, 2015

    The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) is spearheading a campaign with 36 of the UK’s largest Umbrella Companies to oppose HMRC’s proposed abolition of tax relief on travel and subsistence (T&S) for temporary workers. The collaboration, which represent some 100,000 Umbrella Company Employees, conducted its own research and found that T&S expenses represented just 10% of turnover on average, strongly indicating that the tax losses incurred by HMRC are minimal. The research also found that Umbrella Company Employees claim mileage of 181 miles a week on average (35 miles a day), which is almost double the national average of 18.5 miles a day. The abolition of tax relief would […]

    HMRC’s reduced reporting requirements for employment intermediaries meet with cool response from industry experts

    February 9th, 2015

    The government has moderated the amount of record keeping information it will require from employment intermediaries such as agencies and Umbrella Companies. The regulations follow last year’s onshore intermediaries’ legislation and require intermediaries to provide HMRC with the personal details of all ‘workers’ they supply to clients where employment taxes are not deducted at source. Recruitment firms will be required to report the personal details of all contractors employed through Umbrella Companies in new quarterly returns to the Revenue. Under the revised regulations the details will not be as broad as previously proposed and will no longer include payment details; however, identity details will remain obligatory. The revisions have met […]

    Treasury acknowledges value of Umbrella Companies in construction sector

    February 5th, 2015

    Industry concerns that the government was preparing to ban Umbrella Companies in the construction sector have been eased Treasury minister David Gauke. Mr Gauke was responding to a written parliamentary question on this issue put to him by Guto Bebb, Conservative MP for Aberconwy. The Welsh Assembly recently voted to ban Umbrella Companies on all its construction projects. The Treasury minister replied: “Umbrella companies have been a part of the UK labour market for many years and, when operated responsibly, provide a useful conduit through which payments, including tax, can be made. As such, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are not taking steps to stop agencies using umbrella companies […]

    After Diageo extends its payment terms, IPSE ramps up demands for action against late payment

    February 2nd, 2015

    IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has described new revelations about drinks giant Diageo’s payment practices as “scandalous”. The Times reported that the British company had informed winners of new contracts that they will now have to wait 90 days to receive payment instead of 60. The drinks colossus, whose brands include Smirnoff, Guinness, Baileys and Johnnie Walker, justified the decision on the basis that it needed to improve its cash flow and drive out costs as it had “significant investment projects underway”. The news comes after a recent Financial Times revelation that Heinz was extending its payment terms to 97 days and AB InBev, the […]

    Is London losing its status as the UK Tech City hub?

    January 30th, 2015

    Most Umbrella Company Employees who specialise in IT contracting would agree that London, with its thriving Tech City, is the undisputed hub of UK’s tech industry; however, new research from professional resourcing specialist Experis suggest that London is now facing competition from cities from all corners of the country. The “Tech City” model that has proved so successful in generating jobs and contracting opportunities in the capital is being adopted with gusto by other cities, the new Tech Cities Job Watch reveals. Experis will be updating this report on a quarterly basis to provide IT candidates, recruiters and employers with a barometer of the trends in IT recruitment across the […]

    Regulatory change will not make the UK labour market perform better, CIPD warns electioneering politicians

    January 29th, 2015

    As the general election looms closer, the CIPD has warned that regulatory reform should not be the foundation stone of labour market election promises. The warning arises from a study ‒ Employment Regulation and the Labour Market ‒ commissioned by the CIPD. A core finding is that the UK’s relatively large army of independent professionals freelancing and contracting through Umbrella Companies means that the country’s flexible labour market is generally working well on a series of broad measures in comparison with international peers. At 65%, the UK has a higher proportion of good-quality jobs ‒ and a smaller percentage of low-quality jobs ‒ than the EU average. Italy has 54% […]