Contractors enriched by Brexit deal uncertainty

Uncertainty over Britain’s Brexit deal -- or no deal -- appears to be paying off for contractors, for being temporary hires who can be taken on -- and let go -- as the level of risk requires.

In fact, Derek Kelly of the Optionis Group believes that while the precise results of Article 50 being triggered remain unknown, contractors represent a “lower risk option” than full-timers.

“From a hiring perspective, the current uncertainty is likely to be less damaging to contractors than permanent employees [who] employers are likely to be reticent to commit to” he said.

Kelly was speaking after a study by Optionis found contractors in IT to be on a higher rate after the EU referendum than before it, and to decreasingly be suffering rate cuts (about 19% of them last June, down to 17% recently).

Although the uptick was only marginal -- 20.5% of contractors upped their rates following the EU vote compared with 19.4% before it, the same trends have been found in Financial Services too.

On Friday, a poll of 600 contractors showed that 18% of them secured a rate rise in the last six months from their FS client, up from just 12% at the same time in the previous year.

And only 22% of contractors had their FS client cut their rate in the last six tumultuous months, compared with 29% in the previous six months, shows the poll by Optionis, parent firm of SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams.

“Demand for contractors in financial services remains resilient despite the pain felt in the immediate aftermath of the [EU] referendum, when the number of contracts reduced”, Mr Kelly, the firm’s CEO said.

Contract business analysts, project managers and programme managers are highly sought-after in the financial services sector at present.”

“[And in the IT sector],” he added, “business transformation projects related to Brexit will be of limited duration and require highly specialised skills, making them ideal for contractors.”

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Top IT contractor training courses: Brexit Special

IT contractor skills that look hot for 2017

Brexit: Shrewd IT contractors will make hay while the sun shines

Hourly or Daily? IT contractor guide to pay

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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