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Contractors or employees

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  • Publish date: 18 July 2017
  • Archived on: 18 July 2018

Recent legislation has tightened definitions of employment and tax status for self-employed professionals and their prospective employers. Penelope Rance explores employment trends and looks at IR35 legislation.

While headlines around the burgeoning gig economy have focused on legal battles between companies and putative employees over employment rights – we’re looking at you, Uber and Deliveroo – the real growth market isn’t at the zero-hours contract end of the scale but, perhaps surprisingly, among professional service providers.

Interim workers, mainly looking to downscale towards the end of their career and taking on short-term contracts, have been a useful resource for decades. But with nearly a third of Britain’s 4.8 million self-employed workers now mainly composed of professionals and managers, contracting has a new face.

According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), the country’s two million highly skilled self-employed workers contributed £119bn to the UK economy last year.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 256, July/August 2017. 

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