Chancellor under immediate pressure to stop IR35 changes

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has been welcomed into his role by IR35 specialists who immediately advised him to stop the roll-out of IR35 reform on 6th April.

Chancellor must consider global implications 

The threat IR35 reform poses to UK contractors is one thing, but the wider impact of the changes must also be considered by the new Chancellor, explained APSCo’s Bowers: “The UK labour market is currently ranked fourth for competitiveness globally and is one of the best recognised in the world. However, the roll-out of IR35 in the private sector has the potential to not only impact those individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit to assume the risks and burdens of self-employment, but also those sectors of the economy which rely most heavily on independent contractors, such as banking, pharmaceuticals and technology.”  Kevin Edwards

IR35 Woes affecting Jobs, Business Continuity, and Livelihoods

Impending amendments to the IR35 taxation class are causing grief for genuine contracting/sub-contracting businesses across the UK. I have noticed that very few contract positions are being advertised and it appears this is due to IR35 changes introduced by the HMRC.

So, what’s happened?

It has become apparent that yet again the HMRC has not thought through their latest piece of legislation which will no doubt have a knock-on effect throughout the UK’s business world. Most UK businesses are reliant upon the smooth running of their IT systems with ongoing security assessment and threat prevention being at the forefront of business development. Consultants and other contractors are brought in from the outside in order to provide their expertise and to carry the businesses forward with their projects. New legislation will render these consultant company roles as untenable and as a result will force the closure of many consultant companies, and as a result cause hardship and increased unemployment. A further result of this would be that there are insufficient resources for companies to call upon for their projects and maintenance of their existing systems.

Permanent Employment ‘no option’

One area we have first hand knowledge and experience of is companies taking on permanent staff purely for the purpose of filling a temporary role, subsequently relieving them of their duties after a 3 month period. This of course is unethical but nonetheless has happened, is happening now, and will no doubt become more regular in the near future.

MP’s responses …

I contacted our MP for Corby Tom Pursglove several days ago and eventually had a response to say that he would respond in full in due course. I am still awaiting the outcome of this but will publish when received. I have also contacted Boris Johnson directly about the issues surrounding the tax legislation and the impact upon businesses both in the public and private sectors to include the NHS who do employ a vast number of contract staff, and guess what? I have received no response from Boris whatsoever. Obviously if I do get a response I shall also publish it here.

Perks of being a contractor

It seems the new legislation is designed to force contract staff to pay the same amount of tax as a permanent employee and yet without all the perks such as regular employment, paid holiday, training (for which a contractor has to pay for themselves), no attendance permitted to staff meetings, business celebrations, paid bank holidays, or even the works Christmas do!

More as the story unfolds ….

Ransomware Business Cyber-Attack

Ransomware Attack

These kinds of cyber attack are very simple to avoid in business and yet the basics of information security management have been ignored. To get the ball rolling just ask yourself these 2 simple questions:

  • Why is our business critical/sensitive information connected to the internet and is it really necessary?
  • Why are the same computers that are connected to the internet also used to connect to business critical/sensitive data?

Generally speaking the answers to these questions are the root cause of your issues. It’s as simple as that. The answers are pretty much irrelevant because if your business critical data and/or sensitive information is connected to the internet, it shouldn’t be. A prime example of a major security risk here I spotted whilst in A&E recently where I watched a nurse shopping for a new handbag on line using an NHS computer. Ouch! Why do they have internet access anyway … and on a computer used to access patient/sensitive data?

This has become a critical issue and yet one that makes CEO’s and top management within organisations a joke. Simply bacause something in the IT arena is possible does not mean it should be implemented. Just because the top brass say ‘we must do it’ does not mean it should be done. Obviously employees do not generally hold the right to question the managements decisions and so they execute their requests. So, this puts the ball of responsibility farely and squarely at the feet of the top management.

The very basic risk assessments are not being carried out or are being ignored and projects are being executed just because the management say it must be done. I have seen this so very often and it is painful to see. Systems are forced into an organisation often with neolithic incompetence.

So, whilst you are blaming attacks such as this latest Ransomware issue on the ‘criminals’, ultimately as CEO, it’s your fault/responsibility. Furthermore, as CEO ‘exposing’ private sector operational data to the internet, you are offering systems and data to attackers. Should this not be a criminal offense?

In preparation for BREXIT I suggest UK organisations step up their competencies and I don’t mean with qualifications, common sense, otherwise they are preparing to fail BIG time.

Complaints prompt Windows 10 update change

Windows 10 update change

Microsoft is to offer “clearer options” for users upgrading – or not – to Windows 10. The move comes following months of criticism that Windows 10 was being forced upon users using what has been described as a “nasty trick”.

This week, a Seattle woman successfully sued the company for $10,000 over disruption caused by the software installing without, she said, permission. In recent months, in an apparent bid to accelerate adoption of Windows 10, Microsoft altered the way it asked users if they wanted to upgrade. It gave the Windows 10 update “recommended” status, normally reserved for critical security updates.