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IR35 – Are You In or Out?

July 4th, 2020 No comments

Updated 4th July, 2020

One of the most common concerns for contractors in the UK is their employment status and this is monitored by HMRC using the IR35 calculator. Whether a contractor falls inside or outside IR35 legislation will have a major impact on how much tax they pay. Complications arise for independent contractors because different jobs require different contracts and sometimes these contracts will tread a fine line between being inside or outside of IR35. It can be pretty confusing, but if an independent contractor pays attention to a few key areas they should be able figure out how IR35 affects them.

IR35 was put in place in 2000 to prevent employees posing as contractors for tax reasons. Prior to IR35 it would have been possible for someone to leave their job on a Friday, set themselves up as an independent contractor over the weekend, then return to do the same job on Monday;  while paying a lot less tax without having to take any of the actual risks a genuine independent contractor would.

Outside IR35

If a contractor is genuinely independent then it is likely they are outside IR35 legislation and entitled to label themselves as such; allowing the appropriate tax breaks to apply. To be safely outside IR35 legislation a contractor will typically have to be:

–          Paid a set amount for a specific job

–          Responsible for providing their own equipment

–          Financially responsible for the quality of their work and the time it takes to complete

–          Be in control of what work is done and when

This is the level of responsibility that HMRC would deem appropriate for an independent contractor. By falling outside of IR35 a contractor will pay 22% corporation tax but avoid 40% PAYE and NI at varying rates dependent on the job; so you can see why falling outside of IR35 is appealing to contractors.

Inside IR35

To be “inside” IR35 legislation is to be subject to its terms and conditions. If a contractor is inside IR35 legislation they are technically classed as an employee and as such are due to pay regular NI and PAYE contributions. HMRC will consider a contractor to be inside IR35 if any of the following apply:

–          The contractor cannot work independently (i.e. they have a boss)

–          The contractor is not paying for their own tools or equipment

–          There is no financial risk (the contractor gets paid a wage regardless of results)

–          The contractor is paid a wage, given contributions to a pension or has paid holidays

–          The contractor works a fixed amount of hours

Any of the following criteria would see a contractor classed as an employee. If the criteria above apply then it would unadvisable to claim independent contractor status because an HMRC investigation would likely judge the contractor as fraudulent. The punishment can be a fine of between 30-100% of the PAYE and NI avoided; the severity of the fine depending on whether the contractor’s false status is deemed to be careless, negligent or deliberate.


There are no hard rules regarding IR35 but if HMRC demand proof of a contractor’s IR35 status they are likely to consider the key points mentioned above. The contractor will also have to provide evidence that they are operating within the approved guidelines. If a contractor is still unsure then an increasing number of small business accountants that specialise in   contract accounting are available to advise them on how their work relates to IR35.


BIMcollab Introduces Integration with Trimble Connect

June 29th, 2020 No comments

EINDHOVEN 29-06-2020 – As BIMcollab continues to expand their ecosystem through integrations with the industry’s most popular BIM tools, recent development efforts have been focused primarily on partnering with CDE platforms. The latest edition is the integration between BIMcollab and Trimble Connect.

Erik Pijnenburg, CEO – BIMcollab: “Our goal is to integrate BIMcollab with as many BIM tools as possible, whether they are model-authoring, model-checking or model-sharing solutions. We are convinced that with the Trimble Connect – BIMcollab integration we are offering our mutual users the best integrated solution available to share and improve models.”

Collaboration made easy

The Trimble Connect – BIMcollab integration provides a cloud-based, single source of truth solution for models, project documents ánd issues. It simplifies collaboration and coordination across each phase of the project lifecycle. From the office to the field, Trimble Connect’s powerful combination of client applications and workflow extensions allows quick, convenient access to the information you need, when you need it.

BIMcollab users, including those who do not have access to BIM modeling tools, will be able to view, edit and comment on issues in the context of the 3D models in the cloud. All of this can be done using the familiar Trimble Connect webviewer, making it easy to use with practically no learning curve. And finally, since the integration makes use of models stored online in Trimble Connect, there is no extra file management needed and users can be certain to use the latest model-versions.

Marcel Broekmaat, Product Director – Trimble Connect: “We are excited to be able to provide Connect’s Common Data Environment and BIM Viewer capabilities to BIMcollab users. BIMcollab and Trimble Connect share a common goal: to offer an open and performant environment for project collaboration with data made available in the context of the 3D design.”

Click here for more info

About Trimble Connect

Trimble Connect is an open, cloud-based collaboration tool that provides the right people with the right data at the right time. Trimble Connect is a brand owned by Trimble, Inc. Trimble provides the widest breadth of technology solutions for each phase of the building lifecycle. With the industry’s only constructible process and a full range of tools and content to streamline team collaboration, Trimble solutions make data from complex projects more meaningful and actionable to improve productivity and achieve operational excellence.

About BIMcollab

BIMcollab is an issue management system for BIM in the cloud and bridges the gap between BIM applications based on OpenBIM, by offering a broad set of add-ons for all popular BIM tools. It reduces time spend on communication about issues and it’s helping to improve model quality: less construction errors, lower costs. BIMcollab is a brand owned by KUBUS, a software company offering BIM solutions for Design & Build which is also exclusive distributor for GRAPHISOFT and Gold partner of Solibri, Inc. in the Benelux. KUBUS operates from offices in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Hasselt and Belgrade. BIMcollab ZOOM has over 13.000 daily users and BIMcollab Cloud is used by over 70.000 building professionals for better models, better buildings.


Hygienic materials guide published to support specifiers

June 26th, 2020 No comments

A series of guides for specifiers have been launched to explain the hygienic properties of materials that can be used for surfaces and protective screens.

Bringing together a suite of options, they are organised into categories based on their performance and potential uses. They were developed by materials supplier James Latham and cover five sectors: retail, education, leisure and hospitality, offices and healthcare.

Steve Johnson of the Advanced Technical Panels division specialises in health-related products at Lathams.

He said: “There are many products available and it is not always clear what the differences are between them. For example, there is a lot of confusion between anti-microbial and anti-bacterial products. The difference is that anti-bacterial materials prevent bacteria from growing on their surface, while anti-microbial products halt the growth of bacteria and a broader range of viruses, organisms, protozoa, and fungi such as mould or mildew. This makes them significantly better for high-use surfaces.”

Top of the list for performance is advanced thermoplastic KYDEX. Mouldable to any shape, it is highly robust and has inherent hygienic qualities. It is often used for items such as worktops, counters and desks, wall panels, doors and furniture.

Steve added: “KYDEX is perfect for any environment that is subject to high traffic and needs to be kept clean. It can withstand tough cleaning products, without any staining, fading or surface damage, and contains Microban for anti-microbial protection.

“As a homogeneous product, any damage to the top layer doesn’t affect its anti-microbial properties or visual impact. Also, because it can be colour-matched, it is great for branded environments.”

Unlike KYDEX, which is more suited to an off-site manufacturing process, other products within the guide can be easily added to existing surfaces and therefore offer a much quicker turnaround. These include laminates, with Abet Lamishield the highest performer.

Abet Lamishield is an anti-microbial laminate that incorporates silver-ions within the decorative layer. Utilising BioCote technology, it inhibits surface growth by 99.9%. It is one of the only certified anti-microbial laminates and when combined with good cleaning practices it is highly effective.

Where barriers or protection are needed, the Lathams guide recommends AcryBright, a lightweight clear acrylic sheet ideal for screens and sneeze guards. While costing slightly more than a standard piece of acrylic, it is more hardwearing, something that Steve believes makes it worth the investment.

He added: “These materials are going to be around for a while and will need to be cleaned more often, with higher strength cleaning chemicals. These chemicals can cause damage, from small surface scratches through to potential warping or clouding of the screen.

“This damage not only reduces the hygienic properties of the product but also affects its visual appeal. Why pay twice when there is a better option available now?”

Other categories within the guide include Compact Grade Laminates (CGLs) and Solid Surfaces, both highly recognised for their robustness and resistance to intensive cleaning regimes. Both products are solid sheet materials, which will not delaminate when exposed to the rigours of repeated cleaning with detergents and other chemicals. A range of options from market leading brands such as HIMACS®, Avonite, Kronospan, Egger and Xylocleaf mean that there are colours and textures to suit any design scheme.

Issued on behalf of James Latham by Liz Male Consulting Ltd.


Kapex Construction promotes first ever employee

June 22nd, 2020 No comments

Kapex Construction has promoted its first ever employee, Paul Armstrong, to the position of Contracts Manager at Kapex Construction, following a successful first three years of trading,

Newcastle-based The Morton Group is a wholly-owned family business, established in December 2016 by Group CEO Gary Morton and father Brian, following Gary’s return to the region after working on large-scale infrastructure projects in London. The Morton Group consists of Kapex Construction, LOK Developments, and Regents Gate Homes, meaning that it can act as both developer and contractor on building projects.

Now it has promoted Paul Armstrong to the position of Contracts Manager at Kapex Construction.

Paul Armstrong, 34, from Cramlington, was Kapex Construction’s first ever employee and has now been promoted to Contracts Manager in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the business. Paul, who has worked in the construction industry since he left school is a plasterer by trade and has a good knowledge of other trades, with an HNC Certificate and three years at Northumbria University studying construction and engineering project management.

Kapex Construction has just celebrated its third anniversary with its best ever annual results, with turnover rising by 277% in year 3 (April 2019 – March 2020). With a forecast increase of 250% in the next 12 months, the business has a confirmed order book of around £40million.

The construction company is currently recruiting for a series of job roles including bid coordinator, document controller, along with quantity surveyor and senior quantity surveyor positions. Additional roles soon to be advertised include health and safety manager, civils contract manager and a number of finance jobs.

Paul Armstrong said: “I have worked with the Mortons’ since 2005 and was the first ever Kapex Construction employee, so it’s very rewarding to be promoted to Contracts Manager with the company.”

The Morton Group CEO Gary Morton said: “I believe it is important to recognise our talent and to promote from within wherever possible. Our team’s experience, expertise and dedication is what makes our company special so I am delighted to be able to promote Paul in recognition of his hard work and commitment.”

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Banks, PR Account Director
Gardiner Richardson
Tel: 07879 493744

About The Morton Group

The Morton Group is a wholly-owned family business specialising in property development, construction, residential home development and sales as well as the ownership and operation of successful leisure accommodation and facilities business.

Established in 2016 and based in Newcastle, Morton Group’s unique vision and approach means they bring together their expertise, push the boundaries and deliver exceptional returns for their investors.

Consisting of Lok Developments, Kapex Construction and Regents Gate Homes, Morton Group is behind several exciting new developments across the North East and the UK. These include Regents Plaza and Sycamore Square in Gosforth, All Saints Church in Newcastle and Six Hills in Stevenage.


Aarsleff Ground Engineering awarded the Soil Nails contract for new school development in Hexham

June 22nd, 2020 No comments

On behalf of main contractor Galliford Try, Thompsons of Prudhoe has awarded Aarsleff Ground Engineering the contract to design, supply and install a retaining structure approx. 150m long for part of the development of Queen Elizabeth School on Whetstone Bridge Road in Hexham.

The school complex currently consists of a four-storey main building with associated structures. As part of the wider scheme, the work will see the current Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School co-located on one site. Specifically, the Grade II listed building will be preserved, and the new buildings developed to its rear – with the middle school to the south and high school to the north.

With its new Casagrande C6XP-2 rig, Aarsleff will install 360No. soil nails of up to 12m in length over a 923m2 face area. To provide a safe working platform during the soil nail installation and to prevent cut face collapse, Aarsleff will carry out a staged top down construction. Aarsleff’s final scope of works includes the provision of facing comprising a 150mm thick gabion mattress backfilled with granular material to provide an aesthetic finish.

Speaking about the work, Aarsleff’s Senior Geotechnical Consultant Dan Adams said:

“We are delighted that Thompsons of Prudhoe have awarded us this soil nailing contract. We have worked closely on several schemes with Thompsons and we are delighted to further develop this collaborative relationship.

As a leading exponent of soil nailing and with its own geotechnical and design team, Aarsleff Ground Engineering can offer a one stop shop solution from the design and supply to installation and testing for all slope stabilisation projects.

Aarsleff will be on site from the 1st June 2020, with completion expected end July 2020. The schools are expected to open in September 2021.

For more information about Aarsleff and its soil nail solutions, contact the company on 01636 611140 or email  


Notes to Editors:

Aarsleff Ground Engineering Ltd, is the UK trading arm of Danish contracting giant Per Aarsleff A/S, and is one of the UK’s leading piling and geotechnical design and installation specialist contactor; actively promoting early consultation to ensure each scheme can be Value Engineered to give clients the best service, quality design, safety and value.

Aarsleff’s strategy and philosophy of investment into the future has resulted in its wholly owned subsidiary Centrum Pile Ltd having the most advanced precast pile production facilities in the UK, producing segmentally jointed precast concrete piles to BS En12794 to Class 1A.


Top Winchester Plumbing Tips For Construction Sites

January 24th, 2020 Comments off

Construction sites throughout Winchester (Hampshire) need to be created and maintained with much security. One failure can result in severe problems or even perhaps irreversible damage. For people working around the construction sites, every day can be a new myriad of possibilities that’s a mix of rewarding and frustrating feelings. Every little progress in small plumbing construction projects is a big success.

One of the areas of Winchester construction sites that need a big focus of attention has to do with the plumbing and the associated plumbers. Especially for residential throughout neighborhoods in Winchester, Hamsphire such as St Cross, Hyde, Fulflood and the city centre (near the cathedral), this can be one of the most overlooked areas. But, remember that plumbing problems can have adverse effects both as to the efficiency and financial capacity of the construction site that you’re creating.

That said, here are some of the best plumbing tips from:

Winchesters’ top plumbers for you to remember, as to construction sites:

1. Install Leak Detectors

All thanks to technology, there are now many upgrades, even in plumbing systems that you can use to your advantage. This includes leak detectors. As you install the whole plumbing system around the building or house, it’s worth considering attaching a leak detector.

Sinks, pipes, and the entire plumbing system will eventually weaken in time. One of the telltale signs of problems is in leaking. However, sometimes, leaking may be neglected or manifest only when the problem has already escalated. In the worst instances, you may have to replace the entire plumbing system with a new one. This is more cumbersome than only having to go through a repair.

To avoid more significant and sometimes irreversible damages, a leak detector will tell you when there are first signs of minor leaking. This enables you to address the plumbing problem before it gets too severe.

2. Install Heating And Water Systems In The Basement

One of the best places for you to install the heating and water furnace is in the basement. Plan this outright even before you start with the construction itself. If the building is made to have no basement, remember to install these systems on the main floor. Leave a small room dedicated to this. In smaller houses, even a utility closet will do.

This system is usually attached to the basement or ground floor, for the following reasons:

  • To promote even distribution of heat and water across all rooms of the house
  • To avoid damage or flooding in the rest of the house, should a problem arise
  • Ease of repair, when all plumbing systems are in one room, or adjacent to each other. This includes the sump pump, water heaters, water softener, sewer connection, and furnace.

3. Ensure Proper Installations Of Plumbing Systems

You’ve heard of that all-too-familiar statement that prevention is better than cure. There’s much truth to this statement, indeed, and it applies universally. Not just to medicine, but even in the construction industry. The key to preventing serious problems with the plumbing systems lies in the proactive measure of correctly installing the entire plumbing system.

When it comes time for your team to install the plumbing system, don’t rush this step. Be sure that no steps are skipped, and each is gone through carefully. Two of the most common causes of plumbing issues include improper installation and lose pipes. These problems are avoidable, with proper installation.

4. Always Consult With A Professional Plumber

Should a problem arise, it’s better that you consult with Winchester plumbers. Yes, you may want to save some costs by doing a DIY plumbing job, but this can cause even more severe problems in the future. Though it’ll cost you more initially, the benefits in the long run still outweigh the costs. It will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in costly repairs in the future.

5. Use The Right Plumbing Tools And Equipment

For some of the minor plumbing problems, anyone in your construction team may be able to do the work successfully themselves. But, you must also be using the right plumbing tools and equipment. Using the right tools and equipment can prevent mistakes and even accidents.

Examples of the right plumbing tools include:

  • Pipe wrenches
  • Drain-clearing tools
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe cutter
  • Rib-joint pliers


Occasional plumbing problems may still be considered as normal. But, when it gets too frequent, that’s when you know that you’re dealing with a severe problem. As plumbing systems run quite deep, it’s essential that even as you’re still in the process of building, you’ve already placed much focus and attention on plumbing. That way, early on, possibly more significant problems are avoided. Keep these tips in mind to avoid falling into the loopholes of plumbing.