Theresa May and UK Contractors
The Chairman of Accountancy Firm, Danbro, reckons that the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, will be good for contractors.
What is his reason for saying that?
It’s because she has called for a review of Employment Practices. She says that they are “no longer suitable for the modern age”.
Good or Bad for Contractors
While that is correct, and good to hear, she has not given any details on how she would change it. We don’t know whether this change would be good or bad for contractors.
The Conservaitves have ‘history’ in giving winks and nods to contractors.
Who could forget the Professional Contractors Group (now IPSE) rushing out a Press Release, just before the 2010 election, saying that they had managed to get the Conservatives to do a review of IR35. The Conservatives promised to ‘look at IR35 again’.
The PCG, as they then were, were delighted and saw the end of IR35 once their ‘friends’ got into power.
Looked at IR35 Again
The Conservatives were as good as their word. They did look at IR35 again – and decided to keep it. They said that if they abolished IR35 there was a danger that contractors would dump their umbrella companies and go back to using Limited Companies.
Of course they would have. Umbrella Companies only came to prominence after IR35 came into play in 1999.
Not only that, Chancellor Osborne said he was going to STRENGTHEN IR35. Once again he was true to his word. He hired an extra 36 people for his IR35 Compliance Team. That’s when they were laying off HMRC workers elsewhere by the thousands.
So, why did they let the poor old PCG think that they were going to abolish IR35 before the 2010 election?
Would you be cynical in thinking that it was just to get contractors votes?
They must have felt it was like taking candy off of kids so eager were IPSE to believe that they were able to influence policy at national level on behalf of their members.
Growing Demand for Temporary Workers
According To Damian of Danbro,
“Despite a growing demand from UK businesses for temporary workers, recent sweeping changes by HMRC had hit consultants and self-employed people the hardest.”
He continued “The new and proposed changes to employment and tax laws are forcing some contractors to accept draconian employment terms. That’s while others are no longer allowed to claim expenses for hotels and travel to destinations hundreds of miles away.”
Employment Legislation to Keep Pace with Changing Wolrd of Work
Theresa May said she wanted to be “certain that employment regulation and practices are keeping pace with the changing world of work”. So she is launching a review.
Danbro executive chairman Damian Broughton welcomes the Prime Ministers decision. He said that “scrapping expenses claims for contractors, sweeping changes to intermediary rules and complex layers of legislation were all causing confusion and major issues for flexibly-employed people.”
He continued: “The way people work has completely transformed in recent years and employment legislation has failed to keep up. So many companies rely on freelance experts for the skills and insights they need and this will become even more important as we move towards Brexit.
Fantastic Prime Minister
“It is absolutely critical that employment legislation is overhauled to match the modern way of working and it’s fantastic that Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to review the current system.
“We’ve fought hard for the contractors, consultants and businesses we represent across the country and we will continue to make sure their voice is heard as this review gets underway.”
Of course, Damien is absolutely correct. Howeve, is he celebrating too soon, like IPSE did six years ago?
Promised Nothing at All
After all Theresa May and the ‘party of the workers’ has promised absolutely nothing at all – just like Cameron and Osborne six years ago when they wanted contractors’ votes in the 2010 election which they won without a majority. They had to go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats. It was a very close election.
Perhaps the votes of contractors throughout the land was decisive – and it didn’t cost the Conservatives anything.
So, is Damien right this time?
Possibly – but he has probably jumped the gun.
One learns that you watch what politicans do and not what they say.
Her new, modernised, employment laws may scupper contractors even more. That’s what happened last time with Cameron and Osborne.
Employment Laws Out of Date
It’s a good to see that Theresa May believes that Employment Laws are out of date for the modern age. However, we should wait to her what she reckons is wrong with them and how she wants to change them.
Perhaps then we can crack open the Chamapagne.
Those in the Contracting industry, notable IPSE, have a habit of celebrating too soon – espcially when it comes to the Conservatives.
It’s time to sit down and have a cup of tea rather than Champagne and wait to see what she is actually proposing.
Theresa May might be a new type of politician who does what she says – but she has shown no history of it so far.
Let’s just wait and see what she does rather than celebrate her words.