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End of lockdown is powering a boom in demand for contractors

Matt Collingwood, Managing Director of IT recruitment firm VIQU, has said that the reopening of many sectors following the pandemic could offset the impact of IR35.

We are now several weeks into the new IR35 rules regime, and while many contractors have experienced a change to their working arrangements, the number of contracts coming to market remains high, particularly in technical sectors like IT and engineering.

VIQU has said that in the first three months of 2021 until 14th April the number of contract requirements it received increased by 18 per cent.

This ties in with recent employment job posting figures that show that in the first week of April the number of open positions increased by 181,000 new postings. The leisure, tourism and financial industries seem to be leading the current permanent position hiring activity.

There seems to be growing excitement about the gradual reopening of the economy, with many businesses looking to hire and recruit to meet new demand for their goods and services.

Although there are obvious negatives associated with the new IR35 legislation, many in the recruitment sector, like VIQU, are seeing positive developments taking place that suggest a large volume of work is becoming available to many contractors.

As well as new positions, VIQU has seen it’s contractor extension rates increase by seven per cent during the first quarter of 2021, which it puts down to certain skill sets being in demand and businesses realising the value of these sought-after contractors and are retaining them.

Many recruiters are confident that the strong demand for contractors will, ultimately, counterbalance the ill-effects of Private Sector IR35 reform.


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