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    Crystal News

    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 […]

    Recruiters welcome new government rule banning exclusive overseas job ads

    November 14th, 2014

    The government has announced that it will press ahead with implementing a new regulation obliging employment agencies and businesses to advertise new roles in the UK if they are also to be advertised overseas. Job seekers and assignment-hunting Umbrella Company employees alike have good cause to feel miffed if they discover that an opportunity they might have seized was never presented to them in the first place because it was advertised exclusively overseas. Thanks to the new regulation, which is expected to be implemented by the end of this year, these days are fast approaching their end. The rule will require ads for jobs and contracting assignments to be placed […]

    Latest ONS Labour Market stats show another big surge in freelancing says IPSE

    November 13th, 2014

    ONS Labour Market figures released yesterday show that the number of people in the UK who are in work has climbed by 694,000 on this time last year, with around 13,000 people finding jobs every week on average over the last year. Two thirds of the employment rise since 2010 has been in professional, associate professional or managerial occupations. But beneath the headline figure lies another striking fact: the number of people who have found work by freelancing independently has climbed 6.6 per cent on the same time last year. According to Chris Bryce, the Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, the growth in […]

    Jobs and contracts in construction grow as industry sees strong recovery in 2014

    November 12th, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees contracting in the UK’s construction sector have seen work opportunities multiply over the last year as the sector surges toward pre-downturn levels of output, a new study reveals. The results of a new survey from the Construction Products Association reveals a 6% year-on-year increase in output during Q3, with the majority of construction firms participating in the poll reporting significant growth. Both private commercial and private residential sectors saw substantial year-on-year improvements, with net balances standing at +41% and +35% respectively. Just 11% of the building contractors surveyed reported a fall in margins between the second and third quarters of 2014. The figures represent a radical turnaround […]

    Why Umbrella Company techies should get savvy with robotics and automation

    November 11th, 2014

    A new study by Oxford University and Deloitte predicts a distinct change in the labour market over the next two decades; with one-third of predominantly low-skilled roles vanishing as new automation and robotic technology renders them obsolete. There is, however, a more optimistic message for skilled techies in the UK’s professional contracting community: if you are an Umbrella Company employee who can turn your hand to robotics and automation, expect to be very much in demand. Around 10.8 million existing jobs are projected to disappear, with low-paid roles vanishing five times faster than high-paying roles. Entirely new high-skill roles will be created, however, as profitable industries take advantage of technological […]

    City hiring soars as banks embrace digital agenda

    November 10th, 2014

    New figures from Astbury Marsden reveal that jobs and contracting opportunities for finance professionals continue to rise vigorously in the City, which last month saw a 46% year-on-year hike in hiring activity. In October 2013, 2,330 new jobs and contracts were created; by October 2014, the total had risen to 3,400. According to Astbury Marsden, hiring is being driven by new investment by banks in the “digital agenda”, which encompasses the need to meet new regulatory challenges, deliver cost savings and improve performance. Umbrella Company employees with expertise in finance IT are amongst those finding themselves in especially acute demand. Astbury Marsden director Adam Jackson said that over the last […]

    IR35 Business Entity Tests to end

    November 7th, 2014

    HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that IR35 Business Entity Tests (BETs) will be withdrawn in April 2015 following tests that found that they were ‘unfit for purpose’. BETs were first introduced just two years ago as a means for businesses to self assess their risk of IR35 but a review by the IR35 forum concluded that they had not fulfilled their intended purpose and were actually used sparingly by Umbrella Company employees and skilled flexible workers. The industry has reacted positively to the news with Simon McVicker, IPSE Director of Policy and External Relations, revealing that the tests had created more uncertainty and were being used unfairly by […]