Re: up to a 20 per cent pay cut overnight... For many, the cost of their current mortgage
A British automotive company I worked for uses contractors as they can be cheaper but it is also easier to get rid of them when needed. I would estimate 50% of their workforce (e.g. design, various forms of admin, manufacturing...all areas of the business) are contractors. To the point where one their two preferred companies to advertise the contracting jobs had an office onsite.
The difference between permies and contractors was little. We did the same jobs, but just didn't have the benefits---holidays, sick pay, or even a company car. Some permies would be there for years, some waiting for the permie job if it ever became vacant.
I think it's companies like these which the tax-man is attempting to fight, and rightly so. However, I believe the clients should be the one to foot the bill, not the contractors themselves.