The UK IT Contracting Market Place

Do you know your contract rate? Contracting in the UK is unique and on the increase particularly in London because of the shortage of flexible IT skills following the recent recession which reduced the need for permanent employment despite the recent economic growth. This means more contracts, less perm and a greater number of unadvertised contract jobs or hidden jobs in the unadvertised contract market .

Only the best people contract in the UK! If you’ve got the skills you should be earning the better rates. Contract jobs on average pay 30% more then their equivalent permanent jobs. With the right CV and the right approach to the UK market you can be part of the “Crem del la crème” – as a professional UK contractor.

Market Info

Current Contracting Market Size

50% of the job market is contracting! Its normally around 30%, but due to the current economic environment there are more contract jobs available in place of permanent jobs.

Average Earnings of a Contractor

30% higher rates then the equivalent permanent positions

Most sought after IT contractors

Role / Job Type Average daily rates
(*varies on skills and experience)
Networker’s, Administrators & Support £280
Database Administrators & Systems Administrators £330
Analyst Programmers & Developers (General) £350-£400
Specialists: ERP, Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft etc £390
Programme Managers, Project Managers, IT Managers £500-£650
New Media (Web) & E-Commerce Developers £370
Testers, IBM Mainframe & Others £340
Business Analysts, Data Analysts, Business Intelligence £400-450
Infrastructure, Windows, Security Specialists £320
Graphic Designers £240
  Source: BITE Statistics

Key Legislation affecting contractors

2007: Managed Service Company
This law introduced in April 2007 made it illegal for contractors to operate through a limited company that was “managed” by a third party. Contractor can only legally work via an Umbrella Company or their own limited company, knows as a Personal Service Company. Read more.

2000: IR35
Legislation introduced in 2000 that’s used by the Inland Revenue to determine whether or not a contractor meets the definition of being self employed or a freelancer. Contractors who do not fall under this category are said to be caught by IR35 or said to be inside of IR35 legislation and are therefore liable to pay full tax and national insurance. You want to make sure you’re operating outside of IR35 (safe from the legislation). If you’re on a visa there may be further implications for you. Request an appointment to discuss your individual circumstances with BITE.

April 2011 AWR

Effective On the 1st October 2011 the UK implemented the EU legislation for agency workers i.e. PAYE Workers through an agency or umbrella company. This means in practise two key stages;

Day one right for workers and equal treatment after 12 weeks. Some examples of day one rights include the staff canteen, car parking and child care facilities and it is the end client who has the responsibility for ensuring agency workers are provided access to these facilities. This includes access and information to job vacancies that permanent staff would also have access to. In the event of a dispute there is no liability on the recruitment company.

After 12 weeks the agency worker acquires additional equal treatment rights provided they remain in the same job role. This includes pay and bonuses, duration of working time and annual leave. The requirement is simply to treat the worker as if he or she had been recruited directly to do the same job. In the event of a dispute it is the recruitment agency that is initially held responsible but will have a defence if they requested the info and failed to receive it from the client/hirer. End clients can include indemnity clauses in their contracts to pass liability to the recruitment company .Equally recruitment companies supplying contractors through another organisation will need to request the required information just as they would do in dealing with the end client directly and checks will need making on the contract.

This can have a big impact on the agency or clients attitude to a temporary PAYE Contractor. However contractors working through BITE will automatically with BITE’s business model be placed outside the AWR avoiding any red tape and becoming more attractive as a candidate to any agency or client.

FINANCE ACT 2014/15- Travel and subsistence expenses this is being updated as of April 2016 when it is unlikely that umbrella workers will be able to claim for travel to and from a client site. Whether this affects other types of worker remains to be seen watch this space!

 IR35 2017/ 2018/2020- The new 2018 public sector legislation and current 2020 proposals to extend “off payroll proposals”into the private sector are and will radically affect PSC’s working in the public sector where the onus is placed on the INTERMEDIARY CLOSEST TO THE PSC TO DEDUCT PAYE and not pay gross if the contract not proven to be outside IR35. It will be critical that contractors have their contract determined by a status of being outside IR35 IN A STATUS DETERMINATION STATEMENT (SDS). If the fee paying client is a large to medium company as defined under the companies act then they will complete the SDS WHEREAS SMALL companies can accept the determination made via the supplier or PSC owner / Manager. 

Finding Contracts and jobs

From Agencies

Most contractors will find their contracting positions through a recruitment agency. There are 1000’s of agencies in the UK . Some specialise in only IT contracts and others are more general, covering all sectors of employment. Agencies are not only for contractors, most agencies will have jobs for: permanent, contract, temporary and part-time employment. The contracting market in the UK makes up 50% of the total IT job market, substantially more then in most other countries. The agency will put you in touch with the client but to get paid you need to have a limited company – either an Umbrella Company or your own limited company of your own. Is the agency you are going through credit worthy? If they cannot pay you how will you recover your earnings?

Market share

No recruitment agency or software house in the UK has more then 3% market share. It’s therefore important to work with several agencies. The size of the recruitment agency is not important, often a smaller one will work in a specialised sector within IT and will have clients that other agencies do not. But with so many agencies its vital to ensure they are credit checked before contracting with them. If working through BITE, we’ll gaurantee you are paid even if the agency is late or unable to pay.

From clients directly

Not all contract jobs are advertised through agencies, although the majority are. In some cases the company will advertise positions themselves and will employ you directly. You will still need to have a limited company (Umbrella Company or your own limited company) to operate through, the client cannot pay you directly, if they are then its not contracting.

Find out more about BITE ComplianceSend in your CV

No Job no Training costs guarantee disclaimer: Under the 10 step job search program, we can’t help you get a job unless you regularly visit our offices, attend coaching and mentoring sessions, utilising the support provided to you. We work face to face with real people and you must work with us to help you. If then you don’t gain a job in the agreed time having attended the whole 10 step career coaching programme and used our job search database correctly we won’t charge you a penny and will refund the cost of any training you have undertaken that we have advised you to invest in!

The Three Day CV Marketing Personal Brand Plan does not carry a no job no training costs guarantee.

However If you purchase one of our training modules separately, attend and are not satisfied with it we will refund your money.

BITE Compliance covers: IT Contracting London UK, IT Consulting London UK, IT Contract work London, IT contract Jobs London, Temporary IT work in London, Temporary IT Jobs in London, working with Freelance Interim Consultants for professional jobs and IR35 and Limited company or PSC Compliance services

BITE also offers: Contractor marketing and advertising services, CV Marketing services,  with how to write an IT Contract CV to produce a Killer contract CV with, IT CV templates and IT CV examples. Your Jobsearch in our London office provides access to the hidden contract job market, career coaching for contractors, and contractor career management services .

BITE is not a visa or employment agency.