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    Crystal News

    FCSA to attend top-level post-budget briefing in July

    July 3rd, 2015

    In a clear acknowledgement that the new Conservative administration is recognising the contribution made by the Umbrella Company Employees and others from the professional contracting community to the UK’s economy, the chair of the FCSA, Graham Fisher, has been invited to attend the chancellor’s post-budget briefing on 9th July. Mr Fisher expressed his delight that the government was keen to involve the FCSA, the largest association for supporting the UK’s flexible professionals, in this top-level meeting. He added: “It is important that FCSA continues its good work in lobbying for freelancers and contractors to be properly considered by policymakers and an invitation like this is a clear endorsement that they […]

    Change is Coming For The Umbrella Industry

    July 2nd, 2015

    Within our industry, we are used to various challenges, and we often need to adapt or adjust depending on what comes along. In recent times, we have had AWR, the introduction of match pay and Swedish derogation, pension auto enrolment and RTI hit all businesses, as well as the onshore legislation that followed the offshore one, all making operating in this space interesting. However, not often does challenge come all at once. With the new finance bill aimed at removing the tax benefit for travel expenses if such expenses are sacrificed against other taxed income, the ongoing OTS consultation around business expenses for intermediaries and the forthcoming consultation on “direction, […]

    Andy Burnham calls for upfront employment tribunal charges to be scrapped

    July 1st, 2015

    Labour leadership front-runner Andy Burnham has called for the upfront fees paid by workers to escalate employment tribunals to be scrapped after criticising the four-figure charges introduced by the coalition government in 2013. The fees aimed to reduce the number of frivolous claims; however, the result has been a significant downturn in the number of overall claims at employment tribunals as less equal pay, employment status and sex-discrimination cases are made. There were 340,000 claims made at employment tribunals between May and July in 2013; however, this figure has since plummeted to just 110,000 for the third quarter of the 2014/15 financial year. Shadow home secretary, Mr Burnham will say […]

    Flexible workforce could comprise half the working population by 2020

    June 29th, 2015

    Half the working population could be made up of contractors and freelancers by the end of the decade, a new study by PeoplePerHour predicts. The flexible labour market is currently growing by 3.5% every year. This growth rate is faster than any other sector and the trend is set to continue during the next five years, according to The Evolution of the On-demand Economy study. The surge, if it continues, will mean that 50% of workers will be self-employed by 2020, while SMEs and micro-businesses are set save over £6,000 a year as they begin to take advantage of niche skill sets prevalent in the flexible workforce. The study notes […]

    HMRC to relax PAYE fines for smaller contractors

    June 25th, 2015

    HM Revenue & Customers has announced that smaller contractors will no longer automatically receive a fine if they fail to submit their PAYE details on time. This move aims to bring a more considered approach to tax duties. Flexible workers and employers with less than 50 staff will no longer be handed an automatic fine if they missed the 6th March deadline this year. This change has been hailed by the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) as a positive step forward. HMRC is believed to have made the announcement due to the considerable time and manpower it currently requires to deal with the thousands of automatic penalties issued, which actually […]

    Demand for financial services contractors to soar in London

    June 22nd, 2015

    Demand for flexible workers with skills in the financial services sector is currently soaring in London as banks attempt to comply with new accounting standards, a market analysis by specialist contract recruiter Venn Group indicates. Venn Group’s latest data shows that contract vacancies within financial services in the capital increased by a staggering 45% between April and May 2015 due to banks becoming particularly interested in sourcing talented contractors and freelancers with specialist skills. Firms in the sector are currently striving to meet the IFRS 9 standard deadline, which comes into effect on New Year’s Day 2018. A survey recently revealed that almost 50% of chief finance and risk officers […]

    Gender disparity remains in IT contracting industry

    June 18th, 2015

    A new report by digital recruitment agency The Candidate has highlighted a significant gender gap in the UK’s IT flexible workforce, revealing that twice as many male contractors are currently working in the sector than females. Despite attempts to close the gap by introducing flexible working and pay policies, there remains a notable gulf in the number of skilled male and female freelancers being sourced by organisations; in addition, more men are taking up management roles, with the disparity equating to 156%. The report was compiled by interviewing 150 digital businesses in the north of the UK and found that only 18 of these were currently being managed by a […]

    IT contractors to benefit from rise in data breaches

    June 15th, 2015

    IT contractors could benefit from a rise in the number of data breaches at financial firms as specialist skills become increasingly scarce. Recent figures show that banks and building societies are undertaking almost three times as many security investigations as they were two years ago. The growing importance of security in the digital age and the growing threat from hackers and other attacks will mean that IT contractors will play an “important role in assisting financial services clients to reduce data breaches,” according to information law firm OBEP. Software group Egress has urged flexible workers with an IT skill set to stay alert to privacy and security issues on systems […]

    Demand for flexible workers slowing down in the oil and gas sector

    June 11th, 2015

    Demand for flexible workers in the UK oil and gas sector is showing signs of slowing down, according to a new study published by Oil and Gas UK. The latest Well Services Contractors Report analysed the state of the industry and how it has evolved during the last year and found that talented contractors with specialist knowledge of well services were increasingly sought after in 2014; however, the rate of growth has since slowed. This trend is probably due to the crash in oil prices during the first quarter of the year, which resulted in Brent crude oil falling to a six-year low of just $47.36 (£27.99) a barrel. This […]

    Opportunities for flexible workers increased in May

    June 8th, 2015

    The demand for flexible workers was strong during May as contractor billings surged across the country, the latest Report on Jobs shows. Both contractor placements and pay rates increased at a quicker pace than during April. The new report form the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG indicates an ongoing shortage of skills in a range of sectors and regions as demand for temporary workers continues to outstrip supply, with this trend likely to continue for the remainder of the year. This is promising news for the flexible workforce, as skilled contractors will be sourced by an increasing number of firms that want to access talent on a short-term basis. […]