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    Crystal News

    Number of zero-hours contract workers soars

    September 4th, 2015

    Talented professionals and skilled flexible workers often take secure contracts for granted; however, hundreds of thousands of workers across the UK are still currently engaged on zero-hours contracts, with the latest statistics showing that figures have risen by more than 15% during the last year. The Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2015 shows that 744,000 people were employed on a zero-hours contract basis, which is a huge increase on the 624,000 reported for the same period in 2014. These contracts now account for 2.4% of everyone in employment. The staggering rise is not solely due to new zero-hours contractors but also to increased […]

    More permanent workers open to flexible work

    September 2nd, 2015

    The majority of permanent workers across Europe would quit their current role to take on their dream job in a contracting capacity, according to a new study by recruitment specialist Robert Walters. The report found that while three-quarters of the respondents were currently fully employed, a sizeable 59% would become part of the flexible workforce to start an ideal job role, with one-quarter of these saying that the length of contract would not matter. There is a disparity in the number of workers that would embrace flexible working depending on the country; for example, permanent workers in Ireland would be less likely to accept a temporary role unless it lasted […]

    More than 1,000 recruitment firms set up in 2015

    August 31st, 2015

    The recruitment industry is well placed to help with ongoing shortages of skills and talented flexible workers as more than 1,000 new agencies were set up between January and June this year, a new report by finance provider Sonovate shows. The 1,034 recruitment agencies established during the first six months of 2015 represent a substantial 42.8% rise on the number that began operating during the same period in 2014, when just 724 new agencies entered the market. Separate statistics published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) show the recruitment industry in the UK is now worth more than £28bn, which suggests that it remains in great health despite the […]

    UK contractor numbers rise to 4.5 million

    August 28th, 2015

    The Office for National Statistics’ latest self-employment figures show that 4.5 million people across the UK are now working as contractors. The flexible workforce is a growing force in the UK’s economy, with the IT sector playing a huge part in the contractor revolution. Nixon Williams’ Contractor Survey 2015 recently revealed that a significant number of contractors are working in the IT sector, with many of these taking up roles as contract designers, software test analysts, security consultants, business analysts and programmers in London. The Bank of England’s quarterly bulletin also notes that self-employment has been a key driver in employment since 2010, with periods of stronger growth pushing the […]

    ATT expresses serious concern about new dividend allowance tax

    August 26th, 2015

    The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has claimed that the new dividend allowance is a tax rise “by the back door” after HMRC released a factsheet earlier this week confirming that the allowance will sit inside the normal tax bands for flexible workers and other taxpayers. The ATT has claimed that the clarification on exactly how the £5,000 tax free allowance will be implemented will come as a huge surprise to millions of people across the country who have dividend income, as it was previously thought that the allowance would be more generous. Chancellor George Osborne announced the new measure in the 2015 Finance Bill during this summer’s budget and […]

    Whatever next?

    August 24th, 2015

    With recruitment seemingly under HMRC’s microscope and various reporting and legislative changes looming, it seems that micro business or limited companies with one director are regarded as just convenient vehicles to avoid tax and NIC. The government should remember it was them that stopped self-employed contractors from operating as self-employed in their own right way back, insisting on them forming limited companies. It seems the take up was slightly higher than expected with the FT recently reporting that some 4m companies that have incorporated don’t have any employees. That would suggest that while HMRC has put a figure of £400m as lost revenue on the reasoning behind the legislation I […]

    Chancellor targets directors’ dividends

    August 24th, 2015

    For a Chancellor in a Government which made vociferous pre-election pledges to help the UK’s small businesses, George Osborne did a very peculiar – although some would say duplicitous – thing in his Budget: he announced his intention to change the current dividend tax system, which he described as arcane. If he’d announced an increase in the price of petrol by so much as a penny, there would have been howls of protest from the public and the media but his efforts to raise an additional £2.6bn in divided taxation next year (2015/16) and £8.5nb by 2020/21 have passed by without so much as a murmur. How did this go […]

    HMRC clarifies Finance Bill 2015 dividend tax rules

    August 24th, 2015

    HM Revenue & Customs has offered further guidance on how dividend tax will be applied when new legislation recently announced in the Finance Bill 2015 comes into force next year. Chancellor George Osborne revealed the new tax on dividends in the first Conservative budget in July; however, there has been confusion about the new £5,000 tax-free allowance and how exactly this would be applied. HMRC has now published a factsheet stating that the new allowance is entirely a zero-rate band and offering further examples of how investors and workers will pay tax on dividends greater than £5,000. In addition, basic rate taxpayers will now have to pay a higher 7.5% […]

    Citizens Advice wants better pension and parental leave pay for self-employed

    August 21st, 2015

    Citizens Advice has urged the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to offer more support to flexible workers by addressing key issues including introducing pay for parental leave and offering better support for contractors who want to save for their retirement. The independent charity claims the government’s ongoing review into self-employment makes this the ideal time to make changes that can benefit the burgeoning flexible workforce across the country. It also wants the government to provide clarity and consistency regarding the definition of self-employment. New figures published by Citizens Advice indicate that around 460,000 workers across the UK may currently be bogusly self-employed by rogue employers that don’t want to […]

    Home-based flexible workers are more productive

    August 19th, 2015

    Flexible workers and other self-employed individuals who work fro home are more content with their work-life balance and are more productive than those based in offices, new research by CV-Library indicates. New figures published the job search site show that more than 18% of the UK’s workforce now operate from their own home, while a further 15.4% are completing work tasks both in an office environment and in their own living spaces. Home-based workers are also likely to be more productive, with 84.3% revealing that they get more done compared to when they are forced to work in a more formal office setting; meanwhile, more than three-quarters of all workers […]