Re: up to a 20 per cent pay cut overnight... For many, the cost of their current mortgage
computer contractors who are basically employees pretending to run their own sham business
Some "contractors" really are disguised employees, this is true, and that's what IR35 is (supposed to be) there to combat.
However, the vast majority of those who I've worked with (both when I was perm and since I started contracting) are independent consultants and in no way, shape or form "basically employees". We come in to a company to provide our expertise for a particular project and for a limited time. We provide training to staff, help to implement new systems and ways of working, provide advice to the bosses. We take full responsibility for our actions, knowing we could easily be sued for the smallest mistake. We have specialist skills which the client needs for a short time. We can have our contracts terminated at a moment's notice (although most of us rarely have this issue as we are rather good at what we do). We take work up and down the country. We have to manage our companies affairs, including accounts, tax, payroll, and take responsibility for those affairs. We have to regularly market ourselves and find more work, as well as bid for new contracts, keep an eye on market rates to ensure we are competitive. We must keep our own training up to date and ensure we don't fall behind the latest advances.
Some permies have to deal with a few of these things, but most get it all handed to them on a plate. All they have to do is turn up, do what the boss tells them, and pocket the pay at the end of the month.