Tag Archives: UK Contracting

IT Contract CVs

It is incredibly important to write a ‘high impact’ Contract CV. If you fail to do this you will waste a lot of time and receive few (if any) responses! (more…)

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IT Contract Recruitment Agencies

In most cases you will have to work via an IT Contract Recruitment Agency in order to secure a project in the UK. Many Agencies advertise roles on IT Job Websites however it is often worthwhile building personal relationships so that (with luck!) an Agent will think of you before posting a requirement. (more…)

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The Swedish Derogation Model

When the Agency Workers Directive (AWD) was being negotiated by the European Community the Swedish Delegation had the good sense to insist upon certain provisions being inserted to limit the extent of the directive. (more…)

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The 12 Week Qualifying Period

Qualification for ‘parity’ in terms of pay and employment rights under the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) is dependent upon an Agency Worker being on site and engaged by the Hirer (Client) for at least 12 weeks in the same role.

If you are an IT Contractor and you are confused about the Agency Worker Regulations and how they may affect you it is important to take professional advice. At Commonwealth Contractors we work organisations that specialise in working with highly skilled contactors and can advise on the Agency Worker Regulations.

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!

Day 1 Rights under the Agency Worker Regulations

From Day 1 of an assignment Agency Workers must be given certain rights. Under the rules hirers of Agency Workers must ensure that workers;

  • Have access to the same facilities as directly employed individuals (including; Canteens, Common Rooms, Prayer Rooms, Waiting Rooms, the Workplace Crèche etc), AND
  • Can access Information on Client (hirer) job vacancies from day 1

Rights after 12 weeks in the same job

After an Agency Worker has completed the 12 week qualifying period (in the same job with the same hirer) the hirer must offer the worker equal treatment entitlements relating to;

  • Pay, AND
  • Other Basic Working Conditions (e.g. rest breaks, annual leave etc)

After completing the qualifying period pregnant Agency Workers are allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.

AWR Implications

The following table details the implications of the Agency Worker Regulations for;

HIRERS (EMPLOYERS)

Hirers must;

  • Provide Temporary Work Agencies with up to date information on employment terms and conditions (in order for the Agency to ensure that the Agency Worker is receiving the same equal treatment)
  • Ensure that Agency Workers can access you facilities (i.e. canteen etc)

AGENCY WORKERS

Agency Workers get;

  • Equal treatment in respect of pay and basic working conditions after 12 weeks working in the same job for the same hirer

TEMPORARY WORK AGENCIES

Temporary Work Agencies must;

  • Ask hirers for information about pay and basic working conditions (in order to ensure that the Agency Worker is receiving the same equal treatment)

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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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What are the Agency Worker Regulations?

The Agency Worker Regulations give ‘Agency Workers’ parity in terms of pay and employment conditions with permanent employees of the Client (Hirer) after they have completed at least 12 weeks in the same job with the same hirer. (more…)

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European Solutions for UK Work Visa Holders

Do you have a Client in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France or the Republic of Ireland with a high end contract requirement? Are you looking to assign migrants, who need a visa to work in Europe, who are UK Work Visa Holders? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help to secure the Contractor a Vander Elst Visa!

UK Work Visas does not allow the holder to work freely in another European Country (e.g. Germany). To do that an individual would either need to;

  • Secure a country specific work visa (e.g. German Work Permit), OR
  • Gain a Vander Elst Visa.

At Commonwealth Contractors we work with established Consultancies who can help to secure Vander Elst Visas in respect of highly skilled IT, Engineering and Financial Services Professionals.

If you have a European contract requirement and you would like to assign a Non EEA National on a temporary UK Work Visa contact Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details to find out more!

Visa Requirements

Please note that Vander Elst Visa requirements and processes vary from country to country.

In order to qualify for a Vander Elst Visa a Contractor must have at least 3 months remaining on their UK Work Visa. If the Contractor does not have at least 3 months remaining it is highly unlikely that they will be able to secure a Vander Elst Visa.

To qualify the Contractor will need to provide the following documents:

  • Fully completed and signed application form
  • Original Passport
  • Evidence of the Contractors right to reside in the UK (i.e. Tier 1 or Tier 2 Visa)
  • Employer Declaration of Employment
  • Contact Details for the Client
  • Medical Insurance (normally Travel Insurance Policy)

Although processes vary from country to country approval times are normally fairly quick (ranging from 2 to 14 days).

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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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Extend Expat Contractor Visas

Do you know a Contractor whose UK Work Visa is expiring? Are they a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Actuary or Financial Services Professional? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help you extend their stay in the UK so that can continue to work on Contracts!

At Commonwealth Contractors we understand how valuable the right Consultant is! And we also understand how frustrating it can be to lose the right Consultant simply because a work visa is expiring.

If you know of a valuable Consultant whose work visa is expiring call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details to find out how we may be able to help you retain the Consultant past the expiry of his or her current visa!

Extend a Contractors stay – from Tier 1 Post Study Work

Tier 1 Post Study Work visas are valid for a period of 2 years from approval and non-extendable. The visa class is intended to be a bridge from Tier 4 Student to Tier 2 General (formerly the old UK Work Permit Scheme).

If you know of a high level consultant who is currently on Tier 1 Post Study Work and is capable of working on assignments for at least £250+ per day we may be able to help.

At Commonwealth Contractors we work with consultancy partners who may be prepared to take on a managed project and sponsor a consultant on a 3 year Tier 2 General Visa where required.

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

Extend a Contractors stay – from Tier 5 Youth Mobility

Each year hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders come to the UK on Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visas (formerly the old Working Holidaymaker Visa) to work as highly skilled IT Contractors, Accountants, Engineers etc. Historically many would transfer to Tier 1 General however this option is no longer available as the visa class has closed.

If one of your Consultants Tier 5 visas is due to expire in the next 3-6 months we may be able to help you transfer the Consultant from Tier 5 Youth Mobility to a 3 year Tier 2 General Visa. The process can be fairly straightforward (depending upon skills) however the Consultant will need to return to Australia / New Zealand for a 2 weeks to gain the new visa.

Extend a Contractors stay – from Tier 1 General

Occasionally a highly skilled professional on a Tier 1 General Visa (formerly HSMP) is unable to extend his or her visa for a further 2 years. This may be down to a lack of previous earnings, insufficient funds to validate the maintenance requirement or even an inadequate payment vehicle (e.g. Offshore Payments).

This can be a very frustrating situation as the Consultant (who is no doubt on a daily billing rate of £350+ per day) can no longer apply for a fresh visa due to the expiry of the Tier 1 General Visa class.

If you are working with a Consultant whose Tier 1 General visa is going to expire Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help you transfer him from a Tier 1 General Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa (formerly UK Work Permit) where required. The process is fairly straightforward if skill and experience combinations are niche and very difficult to find in the UK

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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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Information for UK Agencies

Are you finding it difficult to secure high end skills in the UK? Would you like to arrange to extend one of your Contractors visas? Or maybe you need to ensure that all of your Non EEA Contractors are 100% Visa Compliant? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help!

At Commonwealth Contractors we specialise in working with high level IT, Engineering, Medical and Financial Services Consultants from countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Over the years we have helped countless agencies, clients and consultants solve issues and make the most of contracting in the UK.

Our Solutions include;

To find out more about Commonwealth Contractors and to discuss your situation with a professional Consultant either call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

OISC Registered Partners

At Commonwealth Contractors we work with OISC registered Immigration Partners that specialise in dealing with highly skilled visa applications & extensions.

Commonwealth Contractors is the only organisation in the UK to offer comprehensive contracting & application / extension solutions to UK based agencies, clients and consultants.

Immigration Compliance

There have been more changes to the UK Immigration system since the introduction of the Points Based Immigration System in 2008 than the whole of the 20th Century put together!

Our OISC Immigration Partners can help to ensure that;

  • You stay compliant with all of the latest rules & regulations
  • Your business adapts to the ever changing Immigration landscape
  • Unique solutions are put in place to allow you to gain an advantage over the competition

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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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IT Job Websites

In order to find an IT Contract in the UK you will probably have to use an IT Job Website. There are many IT Job Websites out there and if you are going to find that perfect contract you need to stay up to date with most of them as contracts come and go quickly.

If you’re a highly skilled expat Contractor and you’re interested in maximising your contract income and working towards a visa extension or visa transfer 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!

Using IT Job Websites to find Contracts

To find an IT Contract you should;

  1. Search the Job Websites for possible Contracts (detailed below)
  2. Sign up to daily job alerts and notices
  3. Tailor your high impact CV to the specific Contract being advertised and then submit the CV to the Agency posting the Contract
  4. Follow up with a call to the Agency to register a firm interest. Be aware that:
    1. Agencies receive many CVs so to stand out from the crowd you should chase up to improve your chances
    2. Other seasoned Contractors will be calling soon after sending a CV to make sure they get to the top of the pile
    3. You decrease your chances considerably if you only email Clients and then wait for the phone to ring
    4. Keep records on what dates & times you tried to call to speak to an Agent so that you know when to move on
  5. Record details of the Contract & the date / time you submitted your CV (keep a Contract Finding Spreadsheet)

IT Job Websites

Job Serve http://www.jobserve.com/gb/en/Job-Search/
  http://www.totaljobs.com/
  http://www.jobsite.co.uk/
  http://www.monster.co.uk/
  http://www.reed.co.uk/
  http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/
  http://www.technojobs.co.uk/
  http://www.theitjobboard.co.uk/
  http://www.theitjob.com/
  http://www.computerweekly.com/jobs
  http://www.planetrecruit.com/
  http://www.fish4.co.uk/

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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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Contracting after ILR

If you’re on a temporary work visa (such as Tier 1 General or Tier 2 General), and yearn to be a pure freelancer (not always the best option!), you will be looking forward to the day that you can consider contracting after ILR is achieved as it means you will be on the same playing field as all of the other highly skilled British Contractors who operate Contractor Limited Companies.

A Contractor Limited Company can represent a good way to make the most out of working as a professional contractor in the UK. The 13.8% Employers National Insurance saving means that you could add a significant amount to your monthly retention when considered vs a PAYE option, but the benefits are list unless you avoid MSC legislation, which generally means taking on a significant administrative burden.

To find out more about securing Indefinite Leave to Remain and working as a highly skilled Contractor call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Contracting Solutions and Work Visa Applications

When on a temporary work visa such as Tier 1 General (formerly the HSMP) you need to place more importance on qualifying for a visa extension or ILR that improving your net retention by using a tax efficient contractor solution.

Over the years many of those who have used a tax efficient contractor solution have failed to qualify for a visa extension. If you have already done 2-3 years this can be potentially devastating. Tier 1 General Extensions

Working in Europe

Once you have secured Indefinite Leave to Remain you no longer have to worry about breaking your run for permanent residence (i.e. a break is considered to be any more that 90- days in any one year) and can therefore work for longer periods of time in other areas of the EEA where required (you may be able to do this via a Vander Elst Visa).

Please note however that if you spend an extended period of time outside of the UK (more than 2 years) you will lose your ILR status and also if you are planning on applying for British Citizenship you need to be based in the UK to qualify.

Securing Tier 2 Work Permit Sponsorship

Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Financial Services Professional? Would you like to work in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa?

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Tier 2 Licensed Employers & Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 General Visa.

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

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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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