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    Crystal News

    Whitehall lambasted for failure to assess impact of tax proposals

    November 24th, 2015

    The British central government administration has been accused of “appalling complacency” for its failure to properly assess the impact of potential tax legislation on its budgets. The 2015 autumn statement is set to announce controversial changes to travel and subsistence (T&S) relief. Experts believe the new proposals, which will come into force in April 2016, will have a disastrous impact on the availability of flexible workers and hit essential public services. Trade body PRISM has highlighted the indifference from Whitehall to the T&S reforms after quizzing departments about whether they had taken steps to assess the impact of tax policy changes. All the departments using freedom of information laws, including […]

    Two-thirds of contractors expect pay increase to offset T&S changes

    November 23rd, 2015

    Two-thirds of contractors believe they should be paid more by employers if they suffer from Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to cut travel and subsistence (T&S) relief, new research by trade body PRISM reveals. PRISM quizzed the flexible workforce about its attitudes towards the pending legislation, which could be announced in the 2015 autumn statement and come into force in spring next year. A huge 65% of professionals said they expected a pay increase to offset the losses of not being able to claim travel costs, while 62% said they would be less likely to take on work that would involve lengthy train journeys and overnight stays. The majority of freelancers […]

    Recruitment industry turnover rises by 10%

    November 20th, 2015

    Recruitment industry turnover soared by 10% to reach £31.5bn in revenue during the 12 months to March 2015, the eighth Recruitment Industry Trends Survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reveals. The new study notes that the rise during the last fiscal year, which is the best ever reported, was driven by an increased volume of flexible working and contracting placements and improved margins in the permanent market. There were 1.2 million self-employed professionals on temporary, interim or contract assignments sourced via a recruiter during the last 12 months, up 3.6% from the figure recorded in the seventh annual survey for 2013/14. Recruitment agencies are benefitting from the demand […]

    Education bosses yet to assess impact of T&S proposals

    November 18th, 2015

    Education chiefs have admitted they do not know what impact Chancellor George Osborne’s new travel and subsistence (T&S) law changes will have on supply teachers amid a growing retention crisis in schools. New research from trade body PRISM has revealed that supply teachers engaged as contractors are set to suffer a real terms pay cut of more than £3,250 a year, equivalent to £62.56 each week. The contractor clampdown could be devastating for schools, the trade body warns, as they will be forced to face up to “an unmanageable burden with huge cost implications”. The plans to axe travel relief will hit tens of thousands of teachers and 1.6 million […]

    Self-employed numbers increase by 30,000

    November 16th, 2015

    The number of contractors and other self-employed professionals in the UK surged by 30,000 during the third quarter of the year, according to the new UK Labour Market report published by the Office for National Statistics. There are now 4.5 million freelancers and contractors in the UK, which equates to 14% of the total 31.21 million workforce. The report noted that the number of freelancers aged over 50 has increased by 46.5% since 2008 and now accounts for almost three-quarters of all self-employed individuals. The overall job market is in rude health, with the employment rate of 73.7% the highest since records began 44 years ago; meanwhile, the unemployment rate […]

    Contractors urged to get international tax affairs in order

    November 13th, 2015

    Contractors working abroad have been urged to get their international tax affairs in order following the introduction of new legislation. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has put in place a new automatic exchange of tax information, which means countries across the globe will able to access much more information about potential tax avoiders when it comes into force on 1st January 2016. Until now information on taxpayers’ overseas finances was only available and shared following a request based on the evidence of fraud or other crimes. This is set to change in the New Year, with governments automatically receiving a wealth of data and information on finances. […]

    Chancellor warned against new idea for contractor crackdown

    November 11th, 2015

    Chancellor George Osborne has been warned against introducing plans to clamp down on individuals working through personal service companies (PSC) in his autumn statement 2015, as this would risk a revolt from parliamentary colleagues according to the FCSA. Speculation over the weekend indicated that the government was seriously considering introducing a new ‘one-month-then-payroll’ measure that would force individuals working for a single client for over a month to go on the payroll, which would affect around 90% of contractors and freelancers. The Daily Mail claims the measure could be announced in the autumn statement later this month with the aim of raising an estimated £400m each year. The Freelancer & […]

    IT contractor demand increases in October

    November 9th, 2015

    Demand for flexible workers in the IT sector increased for the first time in three months in October, according to the latest Report on Jobs published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). IT contractor demand was scored at 60.3 last month, which is considerably higher than the 58.7 and 58.6 figures recorded in August and September and mirrored the summer high back in June. The latest data suggests that the downward trend for growth of IT contractor demand since late summer has now come to end, with more hirers now wanting to source professionals during the final quarter of the calendar year. The lower figures and slowdown in growth […]

    More graduates considering self-employment

    November 6th, 2015

    Almost half of UK graduates are now considering becoming a contractor, according to a new Next Generation of Freelancers study published by online professional insurance broker PolicyBee. The report aims to highlight the changing attitudes towards self-employment among ‘millennials’. It reveals that 56% have undertaken some form of flexible work during their studies, with 44% now open to contracting as a career option. Many young entrepreneurs are not receiving the necessary support to begin work as a freelancer, however, with 62% saying self-employment was not discussed at all by universities. A further 19% said it had been discussed but not enough relevant information had been provided. When asked about the […]

    Most contractors paid more than permanent employees

    November 4th, 2015

    Almost all contractors are being paid the same or more than permanent employees for the same role, according to new data published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The professional body released its latest JobsOutlook last week. The report highlighted an upward trend in the number of firms sourcing talented flexible workers to provide the necessary expertise to help with key projects, with these workers being rewarded handsomely for their skills. 94% of the employers surveyed said freelancers and other self-employed individuals are receiving the same or a higher rate of pay compared to those in a permanent position. More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) said they had turned […]