For the UK, 2017 was a year of significant change and, for many, uncertainty. This has spanned across all industries at every corner of the UK, with the contracting community facing a number of a changes with regards to legislation, finances and much more. Here we take a look back over just some of the changes that 2017 held for contractors.
With cyber security a prominent topic in 2017, the demand for skilled IT professionals grew once again as more and more experts in this area were required. This ultimately highlights a significant skills shortage in the IT, which IT professionals can ultimately take advantage of to achieve further lucrative contracts.
April saw a rise in the national living wage, a change that impacted the income of many contractors for the better. The living wage at this time increased from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour, and subsequently, within the Autumn budget, a further increase has been announced from April 2018 when it will rise again this time to £7.83.
Contractors running a limited company and working within the public sector were subject to new IR35 changes in April of this year. This meant that those working in the public sector could no longer determine their own IR35 status, this fell to the employer. Take a look at our blog on IR35 changes for the public sector.
In a move that shocked many, a General Election was called for the 8th June that resulted in the Conservative party forming a minority government with the DUP. Whilst not a great deal changed as a result of this, there were some postponements of proposed legislation changes that were given less of a priority under the new government. Read our blog on the impact of the election to contractors.
The settled status announcement in June provided a reprieve for some of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with regards to the status of EU nationals in post-Brexit Britain. It was announced that EU citizens were to be given the same rights as UK citizens in terms of residency, employment, health, welfare and pensions, if they had been living in the UK for five years or more.
As Brexit negotiations continue into the New Year and with further changes as a result of the Autumn budget expected, 2018 looks to be yet another year of change for the contracting world.