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> I was sitting next to people earning half as much as I was or less, just because I was a contractor and they were an employee.

Was this still true after all the taxes, insurance, and stability factors are considered, or was this just your hourly rate?

As a contractor in the UK, I paid less tax than an employee would. HMRC brought in IR35 to try to combat that, but at the time I was contracting (early 2000's) most contractors were still paying less tax - I'm not sure if that's stricter these days.

I was in London working in web & finance at the time, so it was a fairly distorted market. I did get bitten by the dot com crash, but even so I was only out of work for about 6 months or so and that was a pretty extreme event. Realistically in the current environment job stability in a major IT centre like London is so good that contracting is pretty safe. In a more unstable market there would be a higher element of risk, for sure.

Contractors still do a bit better than employees, though HMRC keep talking about seriously cracking down on the practice.

> Contractors still do a bit better than employees

Curious if that is actually true when comparing to tier 1 banks/hedge funds full time employee salaries+bonus+retirement+healthcare.

Assume 600 GBP/day * 22 day/month * 10 months (realistically) full time work, that's 132k/yr.

From that take out accounting, illness, insurance, healthcare, retirement, travel, possibly more.

All things considered, once you get above 100k base as employee contracting becomes less attractive. Strictly as a money move that is, there's other dimensions for sure.

600 seems low - I earned a lot more than that back in the day, and that was a long time ago. A quick search of jobserve.com for just "java" found roles quoting up to 750 on the first page, and if you're any good that'll be negotiable. And if you get into even slightly niche things (Oracle Coherence, in my case) the rates are much higher.

I don't think it's very far from the reality of your full stack app developer though.

Ie. 900+GBP/day is listed rarely and for very specific/niche things.

Then, the more niche it is the more likely it is that the downtime between contracts becomes longer I imagine.

Curious what your anecdotal experience has been, to the extent that it can be shared.

Cracking down seems like a bad idea.. you lose dynamic flexibility on both sides. What would the upside be?

Its interesting that they are not clamping down a "self" employed barristers, I wonder why that might be.

I suspect IT contractors are not seen as real professionals in the British class structure

Taxes mostly and fairness towards people who are actually employed.

In the US you pay more to freelance in taxes than you do as an employee (because the employer pays some on your behalf) but you can have other deductions as a contractor. So I think fairness is not specifically a sufficient motivator. The UK can have a tax advantage for freelancing but these freelancers lose out on employment protections. Dunno..

US contractors don't seem to get anything - they seem to think getting a 20% premium over FTE is good.

In the UK you would normally expect 3x for a short 6 month contract.

Right but UK salaries are about 2-3x lower than US (at least for software engineers).. or at least they use to be.

I make 3x what I did as in house doing the same amount of work, after all other expenses.

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