Contracting 2021: Outlook

Contracting 2021: Outlook

Contracting 2021: Outlook

Mark Read, Business Consultant at Husp, talks about his views on contracting in 2021.

So here we are almost a month into 2021, and like every new year this one brings with it new challenges, new objectives and most importantly, new possibilities. Looking back, I think it’s safe to say that no one could have correctly predicted how 2020 would play out, either in the contracting market, or the wider world. At Husp we went into 2020 knowing it would be a challenging year for both ourselves and our contractor population, since it was our first year of operations and the upcoming IR35 legislation changes were inbound.


We can expect more talk around IR35. The IR35 legislation changes are still inbound. The changes were originally planned to be implemented in April last year, however due to the pandemic, the government announced an IR35 delay. That means we are a year further down the line and the legislation changes are still looming over us. Many of us are already fully aware of the changes and what they mean for us individually, but for those that are unsure the changes mean that the responsibility for determining the IR35 status of contractors is moving from the contractor to the end client. This could mean that if you are a contractor working through a personal service company (PSC) you may have to switch to using an Umbrella company. And if you are an agency recruiting into an end client, your resource pool could dramatically change depending on whether contractors wish to continue working the way they always have. Until these changes are in full force it is difficult to predict exactly what the split of roles will look like, but as the year progresses, we will get a clearer picture.


We should also address the elephant in the room, COVID 19. The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives and going forward the end doesn’t seem to quite be in sight yet. This means that many of the adaptions we had to make to our working lives last year will have to be carried over into this one. However, this year we can look at the effects of the pandemic on contracting with a little less fear and anticipation. This is because last year many end clients worked closely with recruitment agencies to deliver working from home solutions. This was something that, for many of the projects working through Husp, I had never experienced before, but is proof that there is resilience in the contracting market and that the pandemic is not enough to grind it to a halt. As the year progresses and the restrictions finally ease, I think we can expect the market to go from strength to strength in 2021. 


Another factor that could affect all our lives this year, is the reality of Brexit. As of January last year, the United Kingdom had officially left the European Union, and as of New Year’s Day this year the transition period had come to an end. The final agreement has varying effects on individuals depending on their personal circumstances but for contractors, the impact is still uncertain. If you are an EU national living in the UK the ending of Freedom of Movement could play a vital part in your contracting future, be sure you have the correct rights to work in place moving forward. There could be some positives to Brexit however, as in the past we have seen that larger businesses will turn to contractors over full time employees in times of recession. Changes in employment rights could also see smaller businesses finding it easier to employ contractors.    

Contracting 2021

In summary, I feel that 2021 should be more predictable than 2020, and much of the impacts and growth that we were denied last year due to the pandemic, we can expect to see this year. Umbrella companies are going to play an important role in contractor’s lives this year as more and more workers will need to change the way they are paid. It is imperative that as a contractor, you find an Umbrella company that works well with you. Ultimately it is a service, but it is also a relationship that could last for many years to come. As a recruiter, it is important that you know who to recommend to your workers and who can guarantee them great service. If you have any questions surrounding the topics mentioned and how Husp can help you in 2021, please get in touch, my colleagues and I will be more than happy to advise you where we can.     

Working From Home Top Tips

Working From Home Top Tips

Working From Home Top Tips

We once again find ourselves in national lockdown, and as the pandemic continues it becomes increasingly likely that working from home will be the new normal in 2021. Whilst working from home can be a dream for some people, for others it is a far more difficult reality. So, we thought that we’d put together a handy list of tips for working from home for contractors who are struggling to adapt to this new way of working.

Stick to a schedule

Set yourself a schedule that fits your working hours and stick to it. Often when we have no routine we can become demotivated and even the smallest of tasks can seem like a massive challenge. However, when we have a schedule set out for our day it can help simulate the feeling of being at work. Why not use the time you would normally commute to do something for yourself, like take a walk or do another form of exercise? Try to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same times throughout the week. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you turn your computer off and wind down once the day is over – you don’t want your work spilling over into your personal time.

Have a dedicated workspace

If possible, make sure that you separate your workspace from any area of your home you usually relax in. Having a dedicated space helps you separate your work life from your personal life. This helps you switch off easier at the end of the day and switch on easier when you start work. Obviously this can be easier for some people due to differing sizes of homes but try your best to find a space away from where you normally relax to do your work. If possible, make sure you sit at a table or desk, not only because this will put you in a better mind set for the day, but also because working from a bed or a sofa for a prolonged amount of time can cause back problems.

Set rules with others

If you live in a busy house filled with family or friends it’s important that they know your boundaries during work hours. Make sure that other members of your household know that working from home doesn’t mean you’re able to pick up extra chores during the day. Whilst yes you can take in deliveries for them or even let service professionals into the property, your time at work is to be focused on the job you are paid for.

Take breaks seriously

When you are given a break from work make sure that you take that break in its entirety. Don’t cheat yourself out of valuable time, especially during your lunch break. Use the time to do something proactive for yourself. You could go for a short walk or make yourself a nice lunch. Having a break during the day is important to manage any feelings of stress you may be experiencing.

Dress for Work

Now we don’t mean put on a suit and tie every day! But it is good to make sure you get up and dressed for work. Whilst it might seem like a nice idea to work from your pajamas the novelty will very quickly wear off. This is another useful way to help your mind differentiate between work and relaxation. Getting up and dressed before work will help with motivating you for the day ahead.

Look After Yourself

The final and most important tip is to look after yourself. The circumstances we find ourselves in are not going to be ideal for most. It’s important to be as productive during the day as you can, but it is also important not to let stress and other anxieties take over. Think about yourself throughout the day and ask yourself what you can do to make things a little easier.

As it’s been said many times before, we are all in this together. We have our fingers crossed at Husp that we can do our bit to help you by making sure payday is as stress-free as possible. However, if you do have any questions or worries about your pay or would just like to chat to us about how we deal with working from home please feel free to give us a call on 0333 003 7831.

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