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Last week saw both the Labour and Conservative parties release their manifestos in the run up to next week’s general election, bringing with them a raft of economic, environmental and societal policies.

There’s a lot to unpick. But how might these policies affect you specifically as a Contractor? Here at Danbro Umbrella, we’ve analysed the proposals from the two main parties and summarised what could be on the horizon for the both contractor workforce and the umbrella industry as a whole. Let’s dive in.

Changes to Umbrella Regulation Largely Unmentioned

Although an overhaul of Umbrella Company regulation was proposed some time ago now, neither party unveiled any major policy proposals on this topic.

For context, against the backdrop of an industry facing a reputational challenge from certain non-compliant and unscrupulous providers, the government launched an initial call for evidence back in November 2021. Inviting input from various stakeholders, such as recruitment agencies, contractors, and umbrella companies, this call to evidence aimed to provide the government with a foundation on which to determine how non-compliance and worker exploitation in the industry could be tackled.

A further consultation was launched in June 2023, presenting a range of proposals to be put forward to stakeholders for their input.

Not much has been heard on the topic since, including in these manifestos. While Labour’s manifesto makes reference to the ‘Single Enforcement Body’, (a proposal of previous consultations in a bid to consolidate the plethora of employee rights regulators), this relates to the entirety of the labour market and does not currently include specific provisions relating to umbrella employment.

As an FCSA accredited umbrella company with an unfaltering dedication to compliance and client experience, we would have liked to have seen some movement in efforts to stamp out the less scrupulous providers that drag down the reputation of the industry.

National Insurance – Both Parties Commit to No Further Rises

Back in 2023’s Autumn Statement, and then again in the subsequent Budget this Spring, we saw the reduction in rates of National Insurance contributions (NICs). With the latest manifesto releases, there is a commitment from both Labour and the Conservatives to not raise them again.

In fact, the Conservative manifesto pledged to drop them further, promising to reduce employee national insurance by an additional 2 pence, as well as proposals to scrap self-employed NI entirely by April 2029.

Income Tax and VAT to Remain at Current Levels

In a similar theme, according to their pledges, neither party will raise Income Tax or VAT rates from their current levels.

You can read both manifestos, as well as those from Reform UK, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the SNP below:

In a Nutshell… Contractor Workforce Unlikely to Experience Major Change

A general theme of both manifestos is that there is not much that applies specifically to contractors, umbrella employees or the self-employed. While freezes (or even reductions) on personal taxes and NICs would certainly be noteworthy, on the evidence of these manifestos, it doesn’t appear to be the case that any major changes (good, bad or neutral) are on the horizon for the contractor market over the next parliament. But, if there’s one thing we can predict in politics, it’s to expect the unexpected.

As always, please get in touch with our team if you have any questions or concerns about your contract ahead of the election.

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Article written by
28 June, 2024
Charlie is a Designer in Danbro’s Marketing team. He is responsible for producing creative assets and content for use across the group’s various channels. His background is varied, having studied Design and English, and worked in the financial services as an administrator. Outside of Danbro, Charlie can be found up a climbing wall, or watching the F1.

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