How has GDPR affected contractors and their clients?

The General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR, is something of a headache for most businesses. The countdown to this year’s deadline has spawned a number of helpful guides and checklists, but many professionals are still confused about how the legislation affects them. For business owners and contractors, compliance […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 30 August 2018

Finding the right PAYE umbrella company for you

It’s a great idea to try comparing suppliers when renewing your home insurance or trying to find a new mobile phone contract. However, it also comes in handy when trying to find the best umbrella company schemes available to you. Over the past decade, contracting as an employee of an […]

Sophie Sophie , 16 August 2018

The benefits of using a PAYE umbrella company

The number of umbrella company schemes available to UK contractors is growing. In fact, the industry has expanded swiftly over the past 10 years. For both new and established contractors, finding a business structure that allows them to maximise the advantages of contracting is vital, becoming an umbrella company employee […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 19 July 2018

Do you set time aside for professional development?

Having the freedom to define your own career path is one of the many perks of becoming a contractor in the first place. However, this freedom can also be seen as a disadvantage. As a contractor, it’s your responsibility to develop your own skills and pursue the right training. For […]

Sophie Sophie , 21 June 2018

When’s the right time to up your contractor rate?

With the cost of living at a six-year high, households up and down the country are feeling the strain. Despite this problem, many professionals are wary of pushing for better pay, and asking for a pay rise is still considered something of a taboo. Although annual reviews and work appraisals […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 14 June 2018

Your guide to contracting cycles

Contractors use cycles to determine when the best time is to take on long term work, enjoy a short term contract, or forge ahead with the search for contract work. Whether you are new to the contract market, or a time-served independent, getting to know these contracting cycles is essential […]

Sophie Sophie , 7 June 2018

How much money should I set aside for my pension?

It’s no secret the UK’s population is both growing and getting older. According to the latest Overview of the UK Population, the population has never been so large, with the UK home to 65.6 million people as of 2016. This figure is expected to rise to over 74 million by […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 31 May 2018

Brexit Day 2019: What will our departure mean for you?

With less than a year left until the UK leaves the European Union (EU) – Brexit Day will officially be on Friday 29th March 2019 – many professionals, particularly those who are self-employed, will be considering what our departure could mean for them. Last year, we revealed how contractors could […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 17 May 2018

What’s the difference between temporary workers and contractors?

Defining your employment status is essential for the creation of relevant documentation, such as contracts, and it’s fundamental to determining your tax liabilities. Without the right definition you could face costs associated with the latest IR35 rules, as well as forgo other benefits associated with your employment type. These days […]

Sophie Sophie , 10 May 2018

Married with children? Here’s a tax break you could be eligible for

As a contractor, managing your expenses appropriately, and in line with the latest legislation is key to making contract work as profitable as possible. There are a number of tax breaks available to the self-employed, many of which are left unclaimed by contractors looking to keep the management of finances […]

Sophie Sophie , 5 April 2018

Taking on your very first employee as a contractor

Most contractors start life as sole traders to ensure simplified solutions can be found when managing finances. The benefits of becoming a limited company contractor are many. There’s the potential for enhanced security, to take home more money and to borrow more with a ‘limited’ label. As your contract business […]

Sophie Sophie , 22 March 2018

5 ways to find work as a contractor

Although there are many plus points that go hand-in-hand with contracting, there is also a selection of challenges that make working as an independent professional difficult. The lack of financial certainty associated with contracting is one such disadvantage, a fact that makes finding and securing consistent work important. As leading […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 15 March 2018

Protecting your contract business from cyber attack

With the deadline for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance looming – businesses have until 25th May 2018 until the new legislation comes into force – now couldn’t be a better time to refine your data protection processes. Companies who fail to protect the personal data generated by their business […]

Sophie Sophie , 8 March 2018

5 ways to stay motivated during your contract work job search

Job seeking is part and parcel of being an independent or limited company contractor. Whether you’re looking for your very first contract or searching for new opportunities as a seasoned contractor, the job search process can be very frustrating at times. Being successful in your search is the key to […]

Sophie Sophie , 22 February 2018

The social networks that could bag you your next contract

Using social media is part and parcel of being a modern professional. Using it to network your contract work expertise can unlock a variety of benefits, particularly when it comes to bagging your next job. Whether you are an independent contractor or limited company contractor, marketing yourself like the big […]

Sophie Sophie , 8 February 2018

Networking tips for contractors on the lookout for their next job

The internet has moved business online and fewer people appreciate traditional networking any more. However, taking the search for your next contractor role offline can yield some surprising results. According to a recent survey by HubSpot, 85% of all vacancies are filled through networking. Whilst 25% of the people surveyed […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 1 February 2018

Could your contract be the key to staying outside of IR35

As the written agreement between you and your client, your contract details the duties, rights and responsibilities of your role as a contractor. It might seem like jargon, but the wording of your contract means more than you think. IR35 legislation has been a stumbling block for many contractors since […]

Sophie Sophie , 30 January 2018

Do I need an IR35 contract review

Many contractors have already encountered the complexity of IR35 legislation. It’s a challenge, and help navigating the new rules can be invaluable. For limited company contractors in particular, the latest IR35 rules affect their status as a contract worker. Falling within the IR35 remit can mean the difference between withdrawing a […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 25 January 2018

How tech can improve life as a contractor

The number of self-employed people is on the rise. Increasing by 50,000 to 4.81 million according to the latest UK Labour Market survey, the self-employed represent 15% of all people in work. Whether you’re an independent or limited company contractor, there are a selection of benefits that go hand-in-hand with […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 18 January 2018

3 essential resources for IR35 help

The recent IR35 reforms have left even experienced contractors, consultants and freelancers perplexed. However, changes to Income Tax, NIC interest and penalties make compliance paramount. Contractors need to understand how the revised off-payroll working rules apply to them, especially considering the financial punishment. Unfortunately, finding informative and accurate resources isn’t […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 26 December 2017

Which insurances should I consider?

Whichever market you serve or whatever the size of your business, it is essential that you have the right insurance. The objective for most contractors is to keep expenses low – limited expenses means more profit, after all. However, harnessing the level of cover that suits your business needs and […]

Sophie Sophie , 22 December 2017

Top tips for getting your invoices paid on time, every time

A recent survey by Ormsby Street revealed that freelancers, sole traders and independent contractors are increasingly struggling with late invoice payment. The same research found that 10% of those surveyed had difficulties paying their rent or mortgage as a result of late invoice payment, and 37% had to enlist the […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 21 December 2017

Perfecting your sales approach as a contractor

There is a long list of sales and marketing demands that contractors have to juggle in order to secure opportunities in their respective industries. Perfecting your sales approach is vital as an independent contractor. In most cases it is up to you to generate the leads and secure the contracts […]

Sophie Sophie , 12 December 2017

Your rights if a client cancels your contract

Many articles written for contractors offer advice on how best to find and secure contract work. However, what are your options if a client cancels a contract? Unfortunately, freelancers and contractors have no legal rights should a client choose to terminate or fail to renew a contract. We work closely […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 7 December 2017

Maternity leave for contractors – Your guide to MA

Welcoming a new addition to the family is an exciting, and daunting, experience for many. Whether this is your first new arrival or you are adding to your clan, taking the time off to have a baby can be a real struggle financially. For the self-employed, the prospect of supporting […]

Sophie Sophie , 5 December 2017

Agency work or independent contracting?

The latest Labour Force Survey revealed that 15.1% of UK workers are self-employed, and the number is rising. Despite economic and political uncertainties, the number of people freelancing or contracting is increasing from industry to industry, unlocking some major benefits for contractor and client. Employers across all sectors are benefiting […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 30 November 2017

Top tips for full compliance as a contractor

Payroll errors are surprisingly common, not just for small businesses, but also for the self-employed. As a contractor, it is your responsibility to fulfil your tax and National Insurance obligations. Understanding the latest legislation is an integral part of remaining compliant as well as submitting accurate information in regards to […]

Sophie Sophie , 28 November 2017

Is personal accident cover really worth it as a contractor

Some 1.3 million workers suffered from a work-related illness from 2015 to 2016, whilst 621,000 injuries occurred at work during the same period according to data compiled by the Labour Force Survey (LFS). With 30.4 million working days lost as a result, workplace illness and injury really does have the […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 23 November 2017

What does the IR35 and expenses update mean for SDC contractors

The SDC statushas resulted in much confusion for self-employed people across the country. Even with HMRC’s simplification of the definition of supervision, direction and control (SDC for short), contractors still face various challenges when determining whether SDC regulations are applicable to them. Team this with the recent IR35 changes, and […]

Sophie Sophie , 21 November 2017

What type of employment contracts should I pursue

Zero-hours contracts have hit the headlines in recent years for all the wrong reasons, but it’s worth pointing out that there are a number of employment contract types accessible to UK workers today. For individuals looking to cement their status in an industry of their choice, understanding the employment contract […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 2 November 2017

6 ways to develop a successful marketing plan

Whether you’re just dipping your toe in the water of the contracting world, or you are a seasoned professional joining a new sector, developing a successful marketing plan is crucial if you want to succeed. In this post we takes you through 5 ways to develop a successful marketing plan. […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 26 October 2017

Top 5 apps to make a contractor’s life easier

The working life of a contractor can be hectic, to say the least. From juggling different clients to handling invoices, you will often have your hands full. In this post, Shield Contract Services reveals the top 5 apps that will help make your life as a contractor more manageable. There […]

Sophie Sophie , 19 October 2017

I’m a temporary contract worker, which product will suit me?

There are so many reasons why outsourcing your accounting as a contractor makes sense. From having access to the latest tech and the resources to focus on other areas of your business to meeting your legal obligations, you can save money and receive the professional guidance you need to grow. […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 17 October 2017

What experienced contractors have to say

In the second half of 2017, contractors continue to face uncertainty. Brexit negotiations are still in a state of disarray and the government is yet to offer concrete solutions. Other issues, like the major changes to IR35, have left contractors feeling like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. […]

Sophie Sophie , 29 September 2017

5 reasons to outsource your accounting as a contractor

Contract work is often associated with a whole host of benefits, from the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss to the lack of involvement in office politics. The financial advantages offer other plus points for those looking to provide their skills to companies on a less permanent basis. […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 19 September 2017

How to switch your accountant

As a contractor, an accountant can be a source of profitability and a route to better tax efficiency. Your accountant isn’t just there to keep records and submit returns on your behalf, their knowledge of the latest rules and regulations can shape your business and its success. But what if […]

Sophie Sophie , 14 September 2017

A contractor’s perspective: Thoughts on IR35 changes

The announcement last year that the government would push through with changes to IR35 caused much consternation among contractors. In the months following the announcement, we discovered more and more from the government about the reforms and contractors became more and more anxious. Why is this worrying contractors? The reforms, which were […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 24 August 2017

How to fully understand your market as a contractor

One of the first things contractors need to learn is how to understand their target market. In this post we take you through some tips to help you fully understand the process. Conduct market research If you want to be a successful contractor, you’ll need to learn about your customers, your […]

Sophie Sophie , 7 August 2017

Do contractors benefit from a ‘softer’ Brexit?

The established thinking is that independent contractors have been one of the few sectors to benefit from uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Seeing as nobody yet knows what the future deal with the EU will look like, big companies have been taking on more independent contractors instead of filling vacancies with long-term […]

Sophie Sophie , 27 July 2017

What are the benefits of being a Limited Company contractor?

Becoming a Limited Company contractor offers you many benefits, from easier borrowing to a greater sense of security. In this post, we cover four important aspects that should be considered when you are considering becoming a Limited Company contractor. Claiming back expenses This is one of the key perks of […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 25 July 2017

How to successfully manage being a single parent contractor

Working in a freelance capacity is both fun and stressful. Juggling different tasks, continually communicating with a variety of clients is exciting, but of course it has its headache inducing moments. For parents, especially single parents, it can sometimes prove difficult to keep the life/work balance from falling into pandemonium. […]

Sophie Sophie , 20 July 2017

Top 5 mistakes contractors feel they make

Most contractors need to wear many hats when it comes to running their business. From quoting to accounting, or from marketing to scheduling, contractors have to master a wide variety of skills if they are to run a successful business. This can lead to contractors making mistakes and failing to […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 4 July 2017

Is there such a thing as a work/life balance?

If you run your own business or are self-employed, you may find that you’re working – or thinking about work – the majority of your life. In fact, a lot of contractors work six or even seven days a week, building their businesses and raising their profiles. As a result […]

Sophie Sophie , 29 June 2017

How to manage your finances in the early stages of contracting

When the subject of finances crops up,  we often like to bury our heads in the sand as contractors, but it’s something unavoidable. In this post, we will help you get to grips with your finances in the early stages of your contracting career. The fundamentals When you first begin on […]

Sophie Sophie , 15 June 2017

Mastering the great juggling act

It’s not an easy thing handling several different jobs as a contractor, but many of us do it. In this post Shield Contract Services offers a few handy tips and tricks to master the great juggling act. Despite the fact your finances will flourish – let’s face it, handling one […]

Gareth Bough Gareth Bough , 9 May 2017

Contracting life: Setting up a daily routine

Having an inviolable routine, which you stick to, can prove an absolute lifesaver for any contractor. When you begin your contracting career, you’ll encounter tons of articles and blog posts online, extolling the virtues of contracting, how wonderful it is and how to handle clients etc, but so little about how […]

Sophie Sophie , 27 April 2017

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