Tag Archives: UK Contracting

UK Contracting

At Commonwealth Contractors, we are used to helping expats considering a UK contracting career, but much of the material is also relevant to UK and EU nationals considering a move into contracting

The guides cover

IT & Engineering Consulting

Finding a Contract

Agency Worker Regulations

Living in the UK

Agency Partners

For guides on tax issues relevant to contracting, in particular IR 35, Section 660,
and MSC (Managed Service Company) regulations, as well as general UK tax
issues, please see our Tax for contractors & expats section

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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The National Health Service

If you travel to the UK to take employment while on a temporary work visa (e.g. Tier 2 General, Tier 1 General, Tier 5 Youth Mobility) you are entitled to free medical treatment on the National Health Service.

However, entitlement to free NHS treatment is not free for everyone as it depends upon the length and purpose of your residence in the United Kingdom, not your nationality.

Are you planning to come to the UK to work as a professional Contractor? Would like to find out about maximising your contract income or working towards a future visa extension? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help!

To discuss your situation with an experienced advisor call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Treatment which is always free to all

Some hospital treatment is free to all regardless of residence. Free treatment includes:

  • Treatment for Accidents and Emergencies
  • Compulsory Psychiatric Treatment
  • Treatment for communicable diseases including Tuberculosis, Cholera, Food Poisoning, Malaria, Meningitis, HIV etc
  • Family Planning Service

Foreign Individuals eligible for free NHS Treatment

Certain foreign nationals (and their dependents) can receive NHS hospital treatment free of charge, including:

Those that have been living in the UK for at least 12 months
Those that have come to the UK to take up permanent residence or have been granted leave to enter or remain as a spouse
Those that have come to the UK to work. This does not include short business trips
Students who are following a course of study which lasts at least six months

Registering with a General Practitioner (GP)

If you are eligible to register with a GP you should do so (at your local practice) as soon as possible.

You should visit the GP’s surgery to register and make them aware that you wish to register as a NHS patient and that you are a foreign national. Be sure to take as much documentary evidence as possible to prove you eligibility for free NHS treatment e.g. Work Permit, Passport, Approval Letter etc. You will need to complete some forms and you will be asked about the duration of your stay.

Please note that registering with a GP does not give you automatic entitlement to free NHS treatment at a hospital. The hospital providing treatment is responsible for establishing if you are entitled to treatment without charge.

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To find out more about Commonwealth Contractors call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Applying for a National Insurance Number

If you have just arrived in the UK on a temporary work visa it is important that you set about applying for a National Insurance Number as soon as possible. A National Insurance Number or NI number is a unique reference number that relates to your Income Tax & National Insurance records.

PLEASE NOTE THAT COMMMONWEALTH CONTRACTORS DO NOT DEAL WITH NI NUMBER APPLICATIONS – PLEASE CONTACT JOBCENTRE PLUS ON 0845 600 0643.

Are you planning to come to the UK to work as a professional Contractor? Would like to find out about maximising your contract income or working towards a future visa extension? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help!

To discuss your situation with an experienced advisor call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

How do I apply for a National Insurance Number?

In order to get a National Insurance Number you need to attend a 10 minute meeting with an advisor at a Jobcentre Plus.

The meeting should only be arranged once you have started work as you will require a letter of employment.

To book a meeting with an advisor call Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643 between 8am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday.

The advisor will inform you of the documents you need to bring to the meeting (please see the document list below) and assign a time.

What documents are required?

In order to apply for a National Insurance Number you should prepare some of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Full Driving Licence
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Payslips
  • A Letter from your Employer
  • Contract of Employment

What happens after the meeting?

After the meeting with a Jobcentre Plus advisor you will be sent a letter detailing your National Insurance Number, so long as you have been successful.

Sometime after the letter a National Insurance card is sent to confirm the number.

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To find out more about Commonwealth Contractors call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Opening a UK Bank Account

One of the most important things to do on arriving in the UK is to set about opening a UK Bank Account so that you can start to receive your wages. If you’re a Non EEA National on a temporary work visa you may find this a little bit tricky initially if you don’t have an employer. (more…)

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Getting Around the UK

As a Contractor you may find that you have to move around the UK in order to get the best contracts. The good news is that getting around the country is very easy, and although the cost of travel is reasonable you may find ‘peak’ travel times (especially on trains) to be expensive. (more…)

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Renting Accommodation in the UK

If you’ve just arrived in the UK one of the first things you’ll need to do is find suitable accommodation. It can be a bit daunting trying to find a place right away so maybe stay with friends for a few weeks or extend your Hotel / B&B stay until you work out the best location for you. (more…)

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Security Clearance

Many contracts (especially those for Government Organisations) require contractors to gain security clearance before starting an assignment. There are a 4 main types of security clearance; Basic Identity Checks (BC), Counter Terrorist Checks (CTC), Security Checks (SC) and Developed Vetting (DV). If you have never held any form of security clearance before you may find that you are limited to the type of contract you will be offered. This is due the fact that the majority of security checks (with the exception of Basic Identity Checks) take a long time to complete and require a sponsor i.e. the company that wishes to hire you. There is a chance that Security Clearance will not be granted at the end of a check meaning that the organisation has to go back to the start of the process to find a suitable contractor. If you have already held basic security clearance an organisation will feel more comfortable and confident with the process. Are you a highly skilled expat Contractor? Would you like to maximise your contract income and work towards a visa extension or visa transfer? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help! To discuss your situation with an experienced advisor call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Basic Identity Checks (BC)

A Basic Identity Check provides fundamental assurance to an organisation that a contractor who has access to sensitive information is trustworthy. A BC is not a formal security clearance but is a pre-requisite for a CTC, SC or DV. The check only takes around 2 days to 2 weeks to complete in which time a contractor’s identity and employment history are investigated. Many professionals new to requiring security clearance often start off with an assignment that requires a Basic Identity Check.

Counter-Terrorist Checks (CTC)

Counter-Terrorist Checks are required where there may be a threat from terrorism to Government establishments. A CTC involves a Basic Identity Check and then a detailed check against Police and MI5 records. Unfortunately CTCs can take a long time, often 6 months. The good news however is that once approved a CTC is normally valid for up to 3 years.

Security Checks (SC)

Security Clearance is the most widely undertaken check to be carried out and is required where an individual may be given uncontrolled access to sensitive information. A Security Check involves a Basic Identity Check plus further checks against security and criminal records. An SC takes around 6 weeks to complete but once approved is normally only reviewed once every 10 years. There is significant demand for consultants with Security Clearance. By holding Security Clearance you may be able to agree higher contract rates as there is a smaller pool of workers from which to choose.

Developed Vetting (DV)

Developed Vetting is the highest level of security clearance and is required only for the most sensitive assignments. Contractors will not normally be required to undertake this form of check as workers requiring this level of clearance are normally recruited on a permanent basis.

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To find out more about Commonwealth Contractors call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Financial Services Screening

Each year thousands of freelance professionals take contracts with large Financial Services Companies. If you’re planning on looking for a contract with a Financial Services Company you should be aware that you may have to go through the process of Financial Services Screening. (more…)

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2003 Conduct Regulations

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations were created in 2003 to protect vulnerable poorly paid agency workers from unscrupulous employment firms. It is broadly accepted that the regulations were not intended to legislate against highly skilled workers. (more…)

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Professional References

It is well worth taking the time to get Professional References from a Client at the end of a project (ideally on company letterhead). This way you can show them to a potential Client or Recruiter as soon as you are asked. This could be the difference between picking up or not picking up a last minute assignment. (more…)

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