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From Bear to Bull – 2013 booming for contractor jobs

After what was quite frankly a disappointing start to 2013 for contractor jobs, we ended on a high note according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) in their latest report.

With consistently positive GDP results, every sector delivered growth for the first time with placements leaping by an impressive 25% compared to that of the start of the year.

Strong growth across professional sectors

2013 saw an increase of 8.5% on permanent placements across the main employment sectors such as IT, engineering, accounting, finance, media, and marketing. This was coupled with a 25% increase in UK vacancies which is indicative of a real growth in confidence across UK employers.

In the contractor market finance performed particularly well with placements leaping by a very impressive 25% since the start of 2013. The IT contractor market is still performing notably well with advertisements for temporary vacancies increasing 22% year on year.  This trend was confirmed by specialist contractor recruitment firm, Venn group, whose own index of hiring activity shows an overall increase of 17% in contract vacancies across the country.

On a final note, salaries are on the up which is great news across the board. Collated data from online job advertising showed a median increase of 1.4% compared to this time last year.

Michael Hough

Guest blog from our friends at Qdos Consulting

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s delivery of this year’s Autumn statement encompassed a few burdening items, likely to cause ripples of discontent amongst a few communities.

Not least of these aforementioned will be the contracting community.

The statement detailed the Government’s intentions concerning the abolishment of those operating under disguised employment statuses.

The statement made HMRC’s intentions to execute more intense investigations concerning employment status overtly apparent.

Tax avoidance measures are to be raised over £9 billion in the duration of the next 5 years. Although recent PSC sessions have accentuated an average amount of 250 IR35 cases carried out annually, this recent statement by the Tory party should alarm and contradict existing misconceptions concerning a ‘lacklustre crackdown’ for IR35.

The legislation’s introduction in 2000 wasn’t exactly greeted with an array of open arms. Instead, it provoked contractors to feel uneasy and potentially doubt their legitimate practices.

IR35 was fundamentally brought in to tackle the disguised employee, in respect of an employee of a company registering their own domain name, labelling themselves a Limited Company, and returning to the exact same role at the exact same location, only getting taxed much less and taking home more.

However, HMRC are now issuing assurances to genuine contractors that they are not the target of their new anti-false self-employment measures referenced in the statement.

HMRC guaranteed that genuine contractors had nothing to worry about, with a spokesperson from the customs stating, ““We wanted to clarify that the measures are targeting mass-marketed schemes, where workers can be moved en-masse into self-employment, even though they should be employed.

“Often the workers are low-paid and unaware that they are being engaged on a self-employed basis until they try to claim employment rights. The measure is designed to stop this from happening.”