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    Crystal News

    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 […]

    Contractors buoyant about the economy and their prospects in 2015

    April 16th, 2015

    After some wavering optimism in the previous quarter, the UK’s freelancing and contracting community has recovered its confidence in the economy and in its own business prospects, a new survey from IPSE and global leader in online work Elance-oDesk has revealed. The quarterly Freelancer Confidence Index polled almost 1,000 freelancers and contractors and found rising confidence in the UK economy, reversing the gloomier trend recorded in the last three quarters. The key findings are as follows: Umbrella Company Employees and other contractors continue to earn more than traditional employees, chalking up average quarterly earnings of £30,000 – around 20% above the average for employees. Day rates have risen by 1% […]

    New reporting regulations for recruiters placing Umbrella Company Employees criticised as “onerous”

    April 13th, 2015

    Strict new HMRC reporting requirements for recruitment agencies placing temporary/contracting staff have been criticised as an “onerous” burden by a Nottinghamshire tax expert. The new requirements will oblige all recruiters ‒ and other employment intermediaries ‒ to provide details about all staff placed by them if these staff are not treated as their own employees because their PAYE is operated elsewhere. This would apply to all staff working through Umbrella Companies and to those who are not under the agency’s control, such as limited company contractors. Reports must be submitted to the Revenue on a quarterly basis from 5th April. Simon Browning, a tax partner at the Nottingham office of […]

    Scottish firms plan a hiring spree this year but fear skills shortages

    April 9th, 2015

    Skilled professionals contracting as Umbrella Company Employees may be tempted north of the border in light of new findings by recruitment firm Robert Half. A new poll has revealed that 40% of HR directors in Scotland are planning to expand their headcounts this year; however, virtually all of them fear that a skills shortage will hamper their hiring intentions. 85% of the 200-plus respondents surveyed in the latest Professional Hiring Index report from Robert Half admitted concerns about losing their top performers and many were worried that a lack of niche technical expertise and commercial acumen in the existing Scottish professional jobs market would set serious limits to their hiring […]

    Which party has which jobs creation policy?

    April 7th, 2015

    As the campaigning amongst political parties for the general election heats up, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has launched an online Question Time quiz to test voters’ knowledge of party policies on employment. Describing recruiters as “the engine that drives the UK labour market”, REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Yes, the quiz is a bit of fun but what we’re also trying to do is raise awareness of the employment issues being debated in the campaign so far, and get people thinking about what the parties are advocating and how this could affect them. There are a lot of claims and counter claims being made about the […]

    IT contractors, are your soft skills up to scratch?

    April 2nd, 2015

    A new analysis of job ads posted on its site by Randstad Technologies has found that employers in the UK’s tech sector seek soft skills such as teamwork, communication, organisation and time management in candidates alongside formal technical expertise. Topping the league table for most in-demand soft skills were good team players capable of collaborating and working well with others (66% of employers included this in their ads). The runner up place goes to candidates demonstrating excellent communication skills, with 43% of employers mentioning this characteristic in their ads. More than one-quarter (28%) considered organisation skills as crucial, while one-fifth (22%) mentioned good time management skills. Other skills making it […]

    Professional contracts on the rise

    March 30th, 2015

    New figures from APSCo show that professional recruitment firms have 21% more vacancies on their books than at this time last year. There was, however, a marginal month-on-month decline of 1% between January and February this year, which APSCo attributes to uncertainties around the general election. Umbrella Company Employees and others who specialise in IT contracting have seen demand for their talents multiplying rapidly over the year, as indeed have their permanent counterparts, as a major national shift in roles takes place in response to the digital economy. New research from PwC reveals that 1.8 million people, representing 6% of the total workforce, now work in roles that did not […]

    Employers need to hire to meet demand but worry about finding skilled contractors, says REC Report on Jobs

    March 26th, 2015

    UK employers are poised to scour the professional contracting community in search of skilled freelancers specialising in IT, engineering and construction, with nearly four in ten (39%) reporting ‘no capacity’ to take on new business without more staff and a further 56% declaring that they only have ‘a little’ capacity. So says the latest Report on Jobs survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which reveals that the number of employers reporting zero or limited capacity has climbed five percentage points in a month, from February’s 90% to 95% in March. Over the same period the number reporting ‘a fair amount’ of capacity has halved, shrinking from 10% to 5%. […]

    Government warned to distinguish between vulnerable workers and professionals

    March 24th, 2015

    APSCo has responded to the chancellor’s budget pledge to clamp down on “agencies and Umbrella Companies who abuse tax reliefs on travel and subsistence” with a robust note of caution: do not presume that the practices of rogue intermediaries operating with low-skilled, low-paid workers represent those of Umbrella Companies in the professional sector. Sam Hurley, APSCo’s head of external relations, noted that the budget report referred to “restricting tax and subsidy relief for workers engaged through an employment intermediary” if it could be shown that he or she was under the control, supervision or direction of the client. Government officials, Ms Hurley continued, may therefore apply a similar test to […]