With the EU referendum looming and many experts speculating on the implications of a Brexit, what could happen if we stay and the various sectors that are likely to be affected by the uncertainty until the votes are in, contractors are reassured by ongoing demand for their skills.

However, there are some issues which are never far from the headlines, and IR35 is one which remains controversial, even after years of debate and decision-making.

HMRC’s IR35 figures questionedSJD Accountancy - beginners guide

As one of the most hotly debated topics amongst contractors, and one which has inspired significant concern amongst both independent professionals and those who hire them, IR35 has long been one of the most analysed pieces of legislation of recent years.

One result of this analysis has been the discovery that HMRC have been using questionable figures when calculating the rate of compliance amongst contractors in the public sector. Specifically, a Public Accounts Committee have released a report which suggests that the number of compliant contractors is significantly higher than the tax-man has claimed, particularly around the time of the 2016 Budget when it was suggested that only 10 per cent of contractors were compliant.

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IT Contractors in demand despite EU uncertainty

The potential economic uncertainty caused by the pending EU referendum has caused some experts to predict that businesses will avoid hiring and attempt to minimise their outgoings in order to protect themselves from the outcome of the vote.

However, businesses’ need to gain a deeper and more effective understanding of the data that they collect is providing jobs for IT contractors who are able to offer an understanding of Big Data. Being able to analyse information more accurately makes it possible to predict the future more effectively, meaning that IT contractors are enjoying plenty of opportunities for employment in the coming months.

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Record number of senior roles available to contractors

Businesses are turning to contractors to fill senior roles in unprecedented numbers, according to a recent report by a leading contractor recruiter. Using data collected from 180 different job boards about the vacancies being advertised, and encompassing half a million employer websites, the number of senior opportunities available has increased by 23 per cent in the last quarter.

London firms are particularly keen to bring in talent to fill their top spots, and those with exceptional leadership skills and experience are in demand, even if it is only for the short term. Whether they are looking for someone to complete a project, take the reins during a tricky spot, or just lend their expertise to get processes established,the valuable role that contractors play in management roles has been recognised by thousands of businesses.

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UK has over one million company directors aged over 65

With pensions now dominating the headlines in the run-up to the implementation of auto-enrolment in June 2016, the fact that the number of older contractors is on the increase suggests that many are choosing to work past traditional retirement age.

16 per cent of UK businesses having one or more directors aged 65 or over, which is more than double the number which have a director aged 30 or younger, reflecting the fact that the UK population is ageing and now features around 11.1 million individuals over the age of 65. The outlawing of compulsory retirement has allowed older people to continue to offer their experience and expertise to businesses which can really benefit from their input.

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