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    Crystal News

    FCSA opposes Apprenticeship Levy for Umbrella Companies

    August 24th, 2016

    The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has spoken out against the unfair impact that the Government’s planned Apprenticeship Levy will have on Umbrella Services – an impact that may force some of them out of business. The Levy is due to come into force in May 2017 and will, as its name implies, levy employers to raise funding for three million new apprenticeship places. Earlier this month, despite concerns from business lobbyists that the Levy has been poorly designed and would damage rather improve the quality of trading, the Government insisted that it would go ahead as planned. A number of business lobbyists have reacted with dismay to this […]

    PSC contractors plan public sector exodus if IR35 plans proceed

    August 22nd, 2016

    A new study by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) has found that if controversial new reforms to off-payroll intermediaries in the public sector should come into effect, then an exodus of contracting professionals will quickly ensue. Over half (54 per cent) of contracting professionals working via the intermediary of an incorporated business known as a Personal Service Company (PSC) plan to leave the public sector if the Government plans to change how their proceeds are taxed. HMRC is recommending that engagers (recruitment agencies or public sector end-clients) should be made responsible for determining the IR35 status of any professional contracting in the public sector through […]

    Umbrella Company group Unitum responds to HMRC’s IR35 consultation

    August 19th, 2016

    One of the UK’s largest group of Umbrella Companies, Unitum, have submitted their response to HMRC’s consultation on “Off-payroll working in the public sector,” highlighting a number of measures in the Revenue’s proposed reform of employment intermediaries legislation that are likely to result in unintended damaging effects. The responses contain a stark warning that the reform of IR35 rules for public sector contracting professionals operating through their own Personal Service Companies (PSCs) will significantly impact all public bodies, placing them at an unfair disadvantage against the private sector. The NHS has already suffered from fee caps and price bands. The new IR35 reforms could, the respondent warn, “once again prevent […]

    Demand for change management contractors booms

    August 17th, 2016

    Interim managers and contracting professionals continue to enjoy high demand in the UK’s financial services sector, according to a new study from Campion Willcocks. The management consultancy, which specialises in providing change management interims and contractors, has released its inaugural Market Trends & Salaries Report. The report collates data from over 2,000 contract, interim and permanent change management roles in 35 financial services organisations. The survey yields insight into hiring trends in terms of geography, type of organisation, pay, roles and demand. It reveals that the vast majority (90 per cent) of requests for flexible resourcing (contracting professionals and interims) came from established financial institutions and banks. By contrast, nearly […]

    More opposition to planned IR35 changes as REC weighs in

    August 15th, 2016

    Another major body in the recruitment and employment industry has joined APSCo and Umbrella Company trade bodies PRISM and the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) in calling for the Government to radically re-think plans to change IR35 rules in the public sector next April. Following a survey of public sector employers by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), its Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Kate Shoesmith, concluded: “HMRC’s current consultation on ‘Off payroll working in the public sector’ is causing consternation amongst recruiters and employment intermediaries, their clients, as well as contractors and interims.” HMRC proposes that liability for determining whether IR35 is or is not applicable to […]

    FCSA responds to HMRC public sector IR35 proposals with alternative solution

    August 15th, 2016

    The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the trade body representing Umbrella Companies, has submitted its official response to HMRC’s controversial proposals for public sector IR35 reform. HMRC’s proposals will apply to all businesses supplying staff to the public sector if the latter are not paid via RTI payroll – i.e., contracting professionals, interims and other freelancers who are self-employed and engaged to take on specific projects. The Revenue plans to place responsibility for determining whether such individuals are inside or outside IR35 on public sector hirers. Any reform to IR35, the trade body says, should not only encourage such compliance but also preserve the flexibility and entrepreneurship of the […]

    Leaving Single Market could cost UK £70 billion (but contractor hiring climbs)

    August 11th, 2016

    The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), a widely respected independent think-tank, has warned that the cost in reduced growth to Britain if it leaves the Single Market, following the Brexit vote, may be as high as £70 billion. The IFS study, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), comes shortly after EU leaders warned that the UK could not remain a full member of the Single Market unless it agreed to the free movement of EU migrants. The report scotches talk of having access to rather than membership of the Single Market as “virtually meaningless” while detailing how the benefits of membership (boosting trade, growth and […]

    IPSE calls for more access to training for contractors

    August 8th, 2016

    The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has called for new initiatives spanning schools, colleges and universities to equip young people throughout their educational years with the skills required for independent contracting, freelancing and self-employment more broadly. IPSE’s Stephen Rooney cites research from the CBI and training provider Pearson, which found that over two-thirds (69 per cent) of the companies surveyed believe they will struggle to fill highly skilled roles in the foreseeable future. However, he continues, increasing numbers of businesses are realising that a solution is at hand in the form of contracting Umbrella Company Employees and other skilled freelancers: “These flexible workers provide specialist expertise on […]

    Permanent hiring freefalls while temp hiring climbs

    August 5th, 2016

    The latest Markit/REC Report on Jobs, published today, reveals permanent placements dropping at an accelerated rate in July, the second consecutive month to see a decline, while temporary/contracting placements continued to rise. Not only did the number of people placed in permanent positions fall for the second consecutive month in July, but the rate of decline accelerated to its sharpest pace since May 2009. Recruiters frequently cited uncertainties arising from the Brexit vote as a key influence in the slowdown. Recruitment consultancies based in London reported a particularly marked ‘Brexit effect.’ Meanwhile, as the REC had previously anticipated for the immediate post-Brexit era, temporary billings went on climbing in July, […]

    PRISM launches free monthly legal updates bulletin

    August 3rd, 2016

    PRISM, the trade association representing Umbrella Company Employees and other employment intermediaries supplying contracting professionals, is to publish a monthly bulletin. The publication will update readers on political developments concerning laws affecting these agencies and the contractors who work through them. The free bulletin, Pulse, is intended to foster a greater understanding of the challenges faced today by contracting pros and employment intermediaries. The first bulletin, August Pulse, will be available for interested parties upon signing up on PRISM’s website. It details the latest political developments in Parliament, drawing attention this month to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s demand for action over Umbrella Companies during Prime Minister’s Questions. In addition, it […]