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    Crystal News

    Flexible workers to benefit from skills shortage

    May 21st, 2015

    The UK’s flexible workers are set in benefit from chronic skills shortages, with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest Jobs Outlook survey stating that employers are now attempting to source agency workers to drive business growth. All but 2% of businesses said they are unable to take on new projects without hiring more staff, with 84% revealing that they are now hiring talented contractors, freelances and other temporary staff with key strategic skills to combat the struggle – up from 55% in April 2013. REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “Businesses are clearly finding it difficult to attract people to certain roles. The number of vacancies is currently at […]

    Small businesses want government to focus on sustained economic recovery

    May 18th, 2015

    Small businesses want the new government to prioritise a sustained economic recovery across all regions of the United Kingdom, according to a new study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). More than 2,300 small businesses were asked what they would like the Conservative Party to do to stimulate their respective sectors, with 35% saying that a stable and prosperous economy should be the top priority during the next parliament. Limited companies and sole traders also want the government to reduce the cost of everyday business and provide opportunities for growth in all corners of the UK rather than just in London and south-east England. Looking to the long term, […]

    Permanent employees sought after but demand grows for IT flexible workers

    May 15th, 2015

    Full time employees are in higher demand than their flexible working counterparts according to a new staffing report published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. REC’s ‘Report on Jobs’ for April shows that the market is in desperate need of skilled workers to fill vacancies and positions with a total of 10 IT skills being noted as scarce by its member agencies during the month. In contrast, only five IT skills are currently in short supply for contractors and freelancers in the tech market. These have been identified as Business Intelligence, SQL, PHP, Java and Digital, which suggests the previous dearth of talented .Net and Business Analysis flexible workers has […]

    What does the Conservative Party’s victory mean for flexible workers?

    May 11th, 2015

    Flexible workers can look forward to the end of “complex, costly and time-consuming” self-assessment and simpler tax systems following the Conservative Party’s victory in the general election last week. Chancellor George Osborne outlined various positives for contractors in the budget in March, while other schemes and changes were presented in the party’s manifesto in the run up to the election and last year’s autumn statement. Many of these changes will now be pushed through as the government begins work as the majority party during its second term. Self-assessment will soon be scrapped in a favour of a new replacement system that will make it much easier for flexible workers to […]

    Up to 600,000 UK workers avoiding tax via limited companies

    May 7th, 2015

    More than half a million UK workers are currently cutting their tax bills by setting up their own limited companies, despite HMRC’s continued attempts to crack down on this practice. A large proportion of these workers are in breach of IR35, the tax avoidance rule that states workers cannot pay themselves by acting as a ‘disguised employee’. While many workers are talented flexible individuals who are legitimately billing their employers, there remains a significant number of other workers who are not technically contractors; instead, they have a standard employee role. These workers are reducing national insurance and income tax contributions by being paid through a limited company. HM Revenue & […]

    Labour pledges to scrap employment tribunal fees

    May 4th, 2015

    The Labour Party has vowed to “ensure proper access to justice in the workplace” and will abolish employment tribunal fees if it is elected next week. The move will be part of reforms to create a quicker and simpler system for flexible workers, employers and employees. Fees for employment tribunals were met with a mixed reception when they were introduced in 2013, with charges currently starting at £160 and rising up to £250 depending upon the case. There is also a fee for a further hearing, which can range from £230 to £950. The number of claims saw a significant slump when the fees came into effect and Labour has […]

    Conservative Party manifesto – what it means for flexible workers

    April 30th, 2015

    The Conservative Party has pledged to help flexible workers by introducing a new small business conciliation service to mitigate the problems with late payments. The Tories have also outlined several other aims that will affect flexible workers in their election manifesto. With just a week to go until the general election, the Conservative Party is hoping to win over flexible workers by stating that the UK will be the best place to “set up and expand a business” during the next five years if it is elected. The government has also pledged to set up a new service to help flexible workers who have not been paid. A new survey […]

    Professional freelancers and contractors now number 1.88 million

    April 27th, 2015

    The ranks of the UK’s professional freelancing and contracting community have surged by 35% since 2008 to hit 1.88 million, new research from Kingston University and IPSE reveals. Women have led the way in expanding the number of highly skilled professionals who have chosen to work independently, rising by 41% over the same period. The number of men trading permanent roles for Umbrella Employment and other forms of freelancing grew by 30.5%, while the number of mothers making the same choice leapt by nearly 60%. Intriguingly there are growing numbers of young people aged 16-29 joining the freelancing community: their numbers rose by 26% since 2008. IPSE’s head of research, […]

    Confidence grows among City employers as demand for permanent and contract professionals remains strong

    April 23rd, 2015

    Umbrella Company Employees and others contracting in the City’s financial institutions have seen a 12% rise in the number of contract roles available between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, the latest Robert Walters City Job Index reveals. While still reflecting strong demand for contractors, the 9,015 short-term professional positions on offer in Q1 is down 10% on the same time last year as confidence returns to the City and employers begin to hire more permanent staff. Financial services firms created 10,980 new permanent roles in Q1, up a dramatic 25% between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 and an even more impressive 32% on the same time last year. An ongoing […]

    Demand for contractors continues to grow in Scotland

    April 20th, 2015

    Demand for Umbrella Company Employees and others contracting in the fields of IT & computing and nursing/medical/care held up well in Scotland last month but the overall growth in vacancies eased slightly on the previous month, the latest Report on Jobs from the Bank of Scotland reveals. These two sectors also generated the strongest demand for permanent candidates north of the border; however, although overall growth for permanent staff increased robustly, it did so at a slightly slower pace than during the previous month. Demand for temporary/contracting staff returned to the modest rate of growth last seen in March 2013. Hourly pay rates for temporary/contracting staff increased most rapidly in […]