Contractor news: June
As far as months go, June 2021 hasn’t been short on big headlines. We’ve had a political scandal, Cabinet resignations, and European football. We’ve had vaccinations open up to every over-18 in England, and we’ve had Wimbledon-esque back-and-forths between scientists and politicians on whether or not the UK is in the beginnings of a third COVID wave. Oh, and actual Wimbledon too.
In fact, June has been such a busy news month that we’ve helpfully rounded up all of the news most relevant to contractors so that you don’t need to sift through every story out there. And we’ve even thrown in some links to our blog, filled with great advice and fascinating news stories.
Freedom Day was postponed
One headline that probably didn’t pass you by was that the end to all legal restrictions touted for 21 June, well, didn’t happen. The rising infection rates linked to the Delta variant of COVID-19 led the Prime Minister to delay it by four weeks until 19 July, to give scientists and the government time to properly assess the data and make sure that the vaccination programme was indeed protecting against serious illness and that the NHS wasn’t on course to be overwhelmed again. This means that we have to live with some restrictions on our lives for a little bit longer.
For contractors, this might mean continuing to juggle working from home and a client’s office for a while longer. To do this effectively, remember to keep in regular contact with your client, take regular screen breaks, maintain a solid routine, and embrace video calls. We’ve summarised all of this for you in our blog.
And while it’s been announced that ministers are working on a plan for fully vaccinated people to be able to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return to the UK, many of us will still be taking our holidays in Britain this year. We’ve pulled together some top tips on holidaying in the UK during COVID, with a focus on aspects such as cancellation rights, what you might need to take with you, and where to go to avoid the crowds.
Despite the easing of restrictions being delayed, it’s still not too late for contractors to get 2021 back on track. Find out how you can do that with our advice on how you can make the second half of this year work for you.
IR35 is still dominating contractor headlines
It’s been implemented for nearly three months now, but IR35 is still making headlines. The big news was that of IT contractor, Robert Lee, losing his Upper-Tier Tribunal to HMRC. Mr Lee, who was contracting for Nationwide Building Society via his limited company, Northern Light Solutions Limited was appealing the decision of his First-Tier Tribunal. However, the decision was upheld and Mr Lee is now reported to owe around £70,000 to HMRC. This result largely hinged on the right to substitution and client control. You can read all about it on our blog.
Following on from May’s news that Gary Lineker was being targeted by HMRC over a £4.9 million tax bill, we’ve explored why so many celebrities get caught in IR35’s crosshairs. In our feature, we look at why some celebs are found inside IR35 when others are outside, and whether Gary Lineker could follow in the footsteps of Lorraine Kelly by successfully arguing that the BBC and BT Sport were buying his brand rather than directly employing him.
Another recent big IR35 story has been umbrella companies and how contractors can make sure they’re signing up to the genuine article and not a tax avoidance scheme. This is down to contractors going to umbrella companies for the sake of ease in getting around blanket bans and inside determinations.
Contractors need protection now more than ever
This month it has also become clear that contractors need to protect themselves on all fronts. For instance, lockdown has seen a big rise in scams, particularly phishing scams. These are designed to steal your data or even your hard-earned cash, so it’s vital that contractors know what to look out for to keep safe. We’ve pulled together some top tips and advice so that you can spot phishing scams long before they can reel you in.
Another big issue contractors have been falling prey to is copyright infringement. It’s scarily easy to do (even if you don’t mean to) and can result in a lengthy and costly court battle. The thing is, many contractors don’t even really know what copyright infringement is, let alone how to avoid it, so we’ve answered all of your questions on our blog to keep you in the know.
Speaking of contractor protection, we’ve also put together a feature on the ins and outs of professional indemnity cover and exactly why contractors need it. Reading it will help you stop yourself from becoming a headline by being forced to pay out a huge sum to compensate for a mistake. It might sound like an exaggeration, but imagine having to compensate a big organisation for hundreds of thousands of pounds in losses because of something you did wrong – could you afford to pay it?
If you’re reading through June’s news round-up and have realised you could do with sorting out your contractor insurance, take a look at our offering. Our insurance for contractors includes not only professional indemnity but also public liability, occupational personal accident cover and much more. You can get a quote online or call our expert team on 01242 808740 for more information.