Contractor news: September
How is it already the end of September? 2021 is going by in a flash. Children are back at school, it’ll be Halloween before we know it and then *whispers* Christmas. But we’re not going to jump to the festive season just yet. There’s still so much to do in 2021 and so much to round up from September alone – especially in terms of contractor news.
So, without further ado, here’s what’s been happening for contractors and Kingsbridge over the course of the past month.
IR35 is still big news even almost half a year after the launch of the new legislation. So big, in fact, that we’ve decided to do another contractor survey to gauge the lay of the land for contractors now that we’re post-lockdown, well beyond the Brexit transition period, and almost six months into IR35.
You might remember our previous survey was held in January and revealed that more than 70% of contractors were without support during the pandemic. That was still in the midst of COVID restrictions and with IR35 reforms looming. Now things have begun to settle we think we can get a bigger picture on how the contractor market is now. Plus you can be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 Voucher Express e-Gift Card just for taking part before Thursday 30th September. Find out more here.
Also in IR35 news, Andy Vessey, Kingsbridge’s Head of Tax, has been continuing to answer your questions to help you navigate the reforms. This month, Andy has been answering further questions on working outside the UK, what to do if you disagree on your status determination, and much more. You can read the latest instalment of Ask Andy on the blog.
Life after lockdown: a brave new contracting world
We’ve now been living without legal restrictions on our lives (in England, at least) for a couple of months and it’s been fascinating to see the changes being made in the world of contracting and, indeed, employment more generally.
The reluctance, for instance of so many companies to make full-time returns to the office was pretty unexpected and the sudden embrace by so many of flexible working is a hugely welcome surprise. It has opened up new and exciting opportunities for many contractors, introducing a whole new contracting world.
It’s given many contractors the excuse they’ve needed to look at their rates and make the decision to raise them. Of course, it’s a delicate balance: raising your rates to reflect your experience and skills, while not alienating your clients at the same time. Not to mention balancing many other factors: your industry, current demand, the effects of IR35, and geographic location are just a few.
Then you need to think about how much notice to give clients, and whether you offer different rates depending on who the client is. It’s a minefield. Thankfully, we’ve broken everything down for you in a handy guide.
Another aspect of the new contractor landscape is the home office. Before lockdown, many contractors didn’t have a dedicated office space as they were predominantly working on-site with clients, just doing the occasional bit of admin at the dining room table at home.
However, now clients may be requesting you work from home – or you may just feel safer doing that – and you’re finding you need a proper work setup at home.
September’s contracting guides
Sometimes it can be difficult navigating the waters of the contracting world, especially when things have been so stormy recently. That’s why the Kingsbridge team loves creating useful guides for contractors on the blog, covering all manner of topics. September has been no different.
One of the questions we tackled this month is one that all contractors have asked at some point in their career: what’s the difference between a sole trader and a limited company?
The answer isn’t actually as complicated as you might think it is, and we cover it in some detail over on the blog but needless to say, the main differences involve the basic setup of your business (did you incorporate a company or not?), how you pay yourself (are you able to pay a salary and dividends?), and your tax affairs (taxes are more complicated if you’re a limited company).
It’s a great read, especially if you’re deciding how to proceed with your contractor business in light of lockdown and IR35.
We also look at how IT contractors can make the most of current demand, which is through the roof at the moment. We offer tips such as reviewing your rates, considering your availability, and looking at your skillsets and specialisms, plus a few more handy hints to help you make the most of the surge in demand.
Lastly, we have written a guide on what insurances need to be considered by project managers and why. We give suggestions for the insurance the average project manager will need to ensure they’re covered financially, as well as example claims so that it’s straightforward to see when particular policies might come in useful.
So, that’s September at an end.
Next stop: October and Halloween. We’ll see you then for another round-up of contractor news.
Until then, if you want to speak to one of our friendly experts about your contractor insurance requirements, you can find all of our contact details here.