2018 is still only a few weeks young, but with us now in February, the coming weeks will give us an indication of how this year will shape up work wise for contractors. How the year 2018 will pan out for contractors remains to be seen, but within the contractor community, they’ll no doubt be some popularly shared views of what they want from this year.
So what would be an ideal 2018 for most contractors?
Clarification over IR35
IR35 was a hot topic of debate for the world of contracting in 2017. With the public sector hit by IR35 reform early on in the year, this caused a huge departure of public sector contractor, with the NHS becoming one of the main victims of its reforms. Despite these changes intended to help clamp down on bogus contracts that were seen not to be outside the IR35, many contractors felt the wrath of these amendments and had been found unfairly placed inside IR35.
In the run up to the autumn budget, a lot of the private sector were fearing that these IR35 changes would affect them. Luckily these worries were initially quashed with no immediate reform for private sector workers planned, however consultation discussions for the issue were in place for early 2018, and early rumours have emerged of private sector contractors to ready themselves for change come April 2019.
For 2018, most contractors would welcome clarification over this issue and know where they stand to ensure they’re best prepared for what is to come.
Recognise their importance
Along with changes to IR35, there were other incidents in 2017 that made the contractor community feel like they were under attack. The government’s u-turn on the increase in national insurance contributions for the self-employed and the publishing of the Taylor Report (which to some seemed to not differentiate flexible gig economy workers and professional contractors) – were two moments that felt like the government’s position on the self-employed community was not consistent or transparent.
With it predicted that 50% of the workforce will be self-employed by 2020, the economic contributions of contractors to the UK will be extremely important. In 2018, rather than be punished for their unique work status, contractors would love for their importance to be recognised more. In what way that could be will remain to be seen.
Contractor Demand to continue from 2017
If you were a contractor in 2017, you were in great demand. Particularly in the IT sector, we witnessed huge numbers for contractor demand, even in typically quiet summer months. Things like Brexit and GDPR are argued to have created a golden age for contracting with companies opting for short-term-ism and hiring for their immediate needs rather than long-term. Looking ahead to 2018, contractors would love this demand to continue and have their contracts all easily lined up for the next few months.
Lives to be easier
Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a new starter, contracting despite all its benefits can be a difficult way of working. Acting as your own brand, the numerous administrative duties you need to contend with such as accountancy, mortgages and insurance – contractors would love somewhere to go to turn for community support and to find the latest contractors at the touch of their fingertips.
Contractors have a lot to juggle, and in 2018, they would love their working lives to be more manageable.
2018 is full of exciting opportunity, particularly as a contractor! If you’re a contractor or looking to kick start your contracting career – why not register with iContract, the new online platform connecting contractors with recruiters! As well as matching contractors with relevant jobs, contractors can access advice and support from third party service providers and engage with an active community of over 4,000 contractors.
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