2021 – a year of hope

2021 – a year of hope

2020 was a year of learning. Learning how to ‘share screens’ and ‘unmute’ while for some of us it was a year of dealing with loss and isolation. It was a year of considerable lows but also morale-boosting highs. The ‘Thursday clap’ for the NHS, free school meals for children and the return of wildlife to our open spaces. 2020 taught us that no matter what, we have the ability to recover and transition. So what does 2021 have in store for us?

The UK will have to establish itself as a single power again outside of EU membership. We must seek answers from within rather than looking for help from our European partners. For the contracting world that means jobs in lower paid sectors will be given to citizens who already have settlement in the UK. For the highly-skilled vacancies there could be a supply shortage as Europeans wanting to fill gaps in our labour market must get sponsored to work here which closes certain avenues for them and makes access to the UK economy harder for those workers that add value to UK PLC.

As we move further into 2021 we will encounter the IR35 reforms (delayed a year due to COVID-19). Many contractors who have operated via their own limited companies for years will be forced to rethink their working patterns. Big businesses will be forced to re-evaluate the supply chain and play a more hands on role rather than absolving themselves of responsibility by hiding behind the limited company.

As we move into the summer months and a large percentage of the population has received their COVID-19 vaccinations, we can start to emerge from the shadows and return to ‘dusty offices’ whilst re-learning how to put on a tie and top up our oyster cards. A return to the old normal?

With all the adaptation and flexibility we have learned from 2020, i4 have evolved too. Our new joint employment model propels us into the future and makes us available to source all businesses looking for payroll services. Hopefully HMRC continue seriously tackling tax avoidance schemes meaning 2021 should be a safer place for us all, whether that be physically, mentally or financially.

Whatever the future holds, no matter what we try to predict, one thing we can promise for 2021 is that i4 will always be on hand to offer expert help and advice to our contractors and agencies.