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    Crystal News

    Leading recruiter welcomes ‘freelancer’s tsar’ and plans for freelancers’ maternity pay

    November 28th, 2014

    The director of executive search at professional recruitment specialist Russam GMS has welcomed the appointment of a ‘freelancer’s tsar’ and the announcement that the Conservative party is considering introducing maternity pay for freelancing mothers. Writing in Recruitment International, Melissa Baxter said: “It’s a real breakthrough in how freelance workers or what we call ‘self-drive workers’ are viewed and recognises the growing band of women who have chosen to work for themselves.” Ms Baxter continued: “There has been a shift away in recent years from full-time payroll working into ‘self-drive workers’, which has up to now not been aligned to government or EU thinking, policy making and legislation, which is all […]

    APSCo hosts debate with HMRC on employment intermediaries legislation

    November 27th, 2014

    An APSCo fringe event at the Recruitment Live conference in London this week drew gasps of incredulity from the audience when an HMRC official appeared to dismiss concerns about collecting highly sensitive data under proposed employment intermediaries legislation. The legislation, which is still in draft form, obliges recruitment agencies to provide highly sensitive information about themselves and any individuals they supply who work though Umbrella Companies, personal services companies, or any other form of intermediary. The data required by the Revenue under the new law includes gender, passport number, national insurance number, payment details and date of birth. One delegate noted that the data was so sensitive that recruiters were […]

    Will IT contractors be called upon to support growth in service sector?

    November 26th, 2014

    A worsening skills shortage is threatening growth in the UK service sector, the latest CBI service sector survey suggests. While demand for hotels, leisure and professional services is high in the run-up to Christmas, this has not fostered the buoyant levels of confidence seen earlier in 2014, the quarterly report reveals. Vigorous growth at the beginning of the year faltered in the summer, hit hard by October’s stock market slump, which was prompted by anxieties about falling demand in the eurozone and indicators that a stuttering world economy would hamper growth. The survey is far from a doom and gloom story, however, as it concludes that overall growth in the […]

    Recruiters must source candidates through social media intelligently, expert says

    November 25th, 2014

    Social media has revolutionised the way in which recruiters work but they must refrain from bombarding candidates with irrelevant offers, the managing director of the IT Job Board has warned. Alex Farrell observed that millions of individuals are posting literally billions of pages of information about themselves on social networks. A recent IT Job Board survey of recruiters found that 96% used social media to identify candidates. Another poll of 856 IT pros found that 74% used social media to look for jobs and contracting opportunities. 84% said they were receptive to being approached by recruiters or firms through social or professional networks if new work opportunities arose. Some Umbrella […]

    Government climbs down on Direct Recovery of Debt plans and add new safeguards

    November 24th, 2014

    Following the consultation on controversial plans to grant HMRC sweeping new powers to recover owed tax directly from individuals’ and businesses’ bank accounts, the government has bowed to pressure and added ‘strong safeguards’ to its proposals. When the consultation on the Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) powers was published in May, many professionals expressed alarm that there were insufficient safeguards in the proposals, notwithstanding the declaration that only debtors who had repeatedly ignored the taxman’s efforts to make contact would be targeted. The government has taken heed of these responses and has strengthened the safeguards significantly. Debtors will now be guaranteed a face-to-face meeting with a Revenue officer, allowing them […]

    Demand for cybersecurity professionals rockets

    November 21st, 2014

    Umbrella Company techies with cybersecurity know-how could be about to find demand for their services soaring. The leading technology job board Technojobs has revealed a huge surge in the number of cybersecurity roles on offer over the last year, but skills shortages are leaving many employers unable to appoint permanent employees. Between October 2013 and October 2014, the number of cybersecurity roles posted rose by more than 100%, making it one of the most sought-after IT skills in the UK. Over the same period, average salaries rose by 10% ‒ from £57,000 to £65,000 ‒ as employers scrambled to attract the talent they needed. Technojobs’ MD, Anthony Sherick, said that […]

    Professional contractors now have their own government ‘tsar’

    November 20th, 2014

    As the number of contracting Umbrella Company employees and other independent professionals grows inexorably, a significant step has been taken towards affording them greater government recognition. The government used National Freelancers Day to announce the appointment of a ‘freelancer tsar’. David Morris MP, a former self-employed businessman, became the Conservative member for Morecambe and Lunesdale in 2010. His appointment was welcomed by Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), who said: “The appointment of an ambassador for our sector shows that the government are ready to take action on the issues facing the millions of people working independently […]

    LinkedIn survey: hiring and mobile recruitment soars in 2014

    November 19th, 2014

    The number of UK firms planning to increase their professional contracting and permanent roles alike is rising dramatically, the latest Recruiting Trends survey from LinkedIn reveals. 400 talent acquisition professionals were polled for the 2014 study. The proportion anticipating an increase in the number of permanent employees and contractors they hire rose from 42% last year to 65% this year. 41% also expect their hiring budgets ‒ the money set aside to attract new talent ‒ to rise this year, which is a substantial increase on the 28% who expected more cash last year. Jobbing Umbrella Company employees are well aware that when candidate availability for skilled permanent roles declines, […]

    National Freelancers Day garners growing support

    November 18th, 2014

    With the IPSE-hosted annual National Freelancers Day set to take place tomorrow, the event is already drawing accolades from prominent politicians. Earlier this month the government’s ambassador for women and enterprise, Lorely Burt, signalled her strong support for the event, noting that record numbers of people in the UK were now choosing freelancing. She added: “The decision to go it alone and start a micro-business is an incredibly brave one and I’m delighted that National Freelancers Day gives them the recognition they deserve.” Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has also expressed his enthusiasm for the day, stating: “I am a big supporter of National Freelancers Day, which shines a spotlight […]

    HMRC notches up another record haul from under-reported incomes

    November 17th, 2014

    The accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has obtained figures from HMRC through a freedom of information request that again illustrate how the UK’s tax recovery regime is tightening. The Revenue’s personal tax investigations into self-assessed taxpayers raised a record £845m in unpaid taxes in 2013-14, a rise of 39% on the previous tax year. The figure represents a trebling of the tax yield from these investigations over the last three years. While the investigations focussed primarily on landlords and online traders, freelancers who have chosen to pursue their professional contracting careers through Revenue-compliant PAYE Umbrella Companies will feel vindicated by this news. The message being consistently sent out by HMRC […]