Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Contractors: Doom and gloom or driven and determined?

70% of contractors choose being ‘masters of their own destiny’ despite IR35 uncertainty

As a contractor, it’s hard not to receive emails or see news everywhere covering the pending IR35 off-payroll roll out to the private sector, or the delightful updates from Boris Johnson constantly confusing us about Brexit. But is the contracting market really all doom and gloom or is it all just scaremongering?

Specialist contractor accountants, Integro Accounting, went straight to the source. Over 30% of their contractor clients share their varied views and opinions on the contractor market.

Please note, these results were received from clients both prior to, and after the 11th July IR35 off payroll roll out announcement. Results did not dramatically drop and remained consistent despite further details of the private sector roll out.

Survey reveals contractors remain positive in uncertain times

70% of clients prefer to be ‘masters of their own destiny’ actively choosing to go contracting rather than being pushed.

Contractors naturally shared their worries over IR35, wondering what it meant to the industry; and whilst Integro Accounting know both contractors and their fee payers need further clarity and support on the subject, things should remain business as usual.

Over ¾ of contractor’s state ‘greater flexibility’ as the key driving force for remaining a contractor with ‘greater take home pay’ in second place. 85% of contractors are claiming daily rates between £300 - £800 with sites such as IT job watch averaging consultants to be on £500 per day, based on the results of their latest contractor job vacancies published (as of September 2019).

This is positive news as 53% of those sharing their thoughts work in the most popular sector, IT. The diversity of project roles appears to be expanding with the term ‘business consultant’ now seen as boring, and over ½ having a variety of titles including ‘Architecture’ and ‘Complex Weapons Integration Specialist’ to name a few.

62% of clients chose ‘no office politics’ as the reason for moving into the consultancy workforce; stepping away from being micromanaged. With the likes of the NHS confederation reporting that 61% of people are experiencing mental health issues due to work or work being a related factor* this comes as no surprise.

Results showed that 30% of clients no longer solely rely on recruiters to secure a role, but an existing contact has equal weight in the contracting market. Over ½ surveyed are securing contracts from 6 months up to 2 years, showing that longevity in the contracting market is yet to diminish.

Full results of the survey can be found here with a free infographic: 2019 Life as a Contractor results. A follow up survey will be completed in the coming months to compare results.