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Posted 8th July 2021

How has the contracting industry changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed the way that we live and work. Now with just a few weeks left to go until the planned lifting of all restrictions, we are reflecting on how the UK business world has changed.

For the contractors that we work with, the last 18 months have seen them face huge challenges when it comes to their day to day working life, and not always due to the pandemic. Below, we take a look at what has changed for the contracting industry during the pandemic:

Remote contracting

Of course, from the first lockdown we have all seen the way in which we are able to work change dramatically. Whilst many were able to transition to home working, other industries weren’t so lucky, which sadly saw many contractors unable to undertake their usual assignments. For those that were able to work remotely, this meant working on assignments (both existing and new) without physically meeting the end hirer.

Changes in demand

Fluctuations in demand have been a common theme over the past 18 months. As you would expect, with many businesses unable to operate as normal, demand for contractors dropped. But as restrictions lift and, sadly, many businesses make redundancies amongst permanent staff, the contracting community is noticing a huge increase in demand for their services.

IR35

We couldn’t mention things affecting the contracting industry in the last 18 months without mentioning IR35. Having been delayed in April of last year due to the pandemic, this April saw reforms come into force, which moved the responsibility for determining IR35 status for medium to large businesses from contractors to the end client themselves. Contractors deemed to be within IR35 must subsequently pay the required tax and NI.

Brexit

Coming into force on 31st December last year, Brexit has and will continue to have a huge impact on contractors who are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals, working in the UK. In order to remain working in the UK these contractors must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30th June 2021. If eligible they will subsequently be given indefinite leave to remain or limited leave to remain and can continue to work.

Want to learn more about contracting effectively during the pandemic? Speak to our team today to find out how our services could support you.

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