Bank IT security contractors can command up to £1000 per day
The latest edition of the Manpower Employment Outlook survey (for the first quarter of 2014) says that there has been a surge in demand for skilled IT people in the finance and business services industries.
There appears to be a ‘two-paced’ jobs market within these industries, with a drop in demand for some types of traditional employee (e.g. Barclays’ decision to axe thousands of front-line staff from within branches), but at the same time the demand for IT experts is at an all-time high due to the growth of internet technologies.
According to the report, experts in data governance and cloud security can currently charge as much as £1000/day for their skills. So, if you’re thinking of learning new skills, financial web security would appear to be a good option!
You can access Manpower’s surveys here (select the UK report when requested).
Offshore umbrella clampdown rules ‘must be enforced’
Derek Kelly, MD at Parasol, a leading PAYE umbrella provider, says that new legislation aimed at addressing the use of offshore employment intermediaries must be backed by tough enforcement.
Measures aimed at preventing UK employers from unethically using offshore employment companies to pay their staff (and save tax in the process) are due to commence in April 2014, following inclusion of draft legislation in the Finance Bill, which was published this week.
Kelly says that without rigorous Government action to enforce the new measures, the legislation will be pointless. “What we need is wide-ranging, comprehensive enforcement from day one. In my view, this means directors of offshore providers should be pursued directly by the authorities.”
Kelly suggested that the threat of personal assets seizures, or even time behind bars for the worst offenders would be a “genuine deterrent”.
Christmas party entertainment expenses
As is the case every year, accountants tend to get excited about a rare concession provided by HMRC which allows business owners to claim back the cost of an annual staff event against their tax liabilities.
You are allowed to claim back up to £150 against tax for company directors, employees, and even your spouse, providing that certain conditions are met.
For example, the event must be open to all employees, and the claim must not be for a penny more than £150 per person,
Importantly, the claim must be for legitimately incurred expenses – it is not an ‘cash allowance’ claimable by all, regardless of whether an event has taken place or not.