The UK is hungry for change…

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Image© Derek Harper

You will eat by and by, in the glorious land in the sky, way up high, work and pray and live on hay, you`ll get pie in the sky when you die…

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of EP Thompson`s The Making of The English Working Class, which Phillip Dodd recently described as a formidable account of class development. This is rather ironic, given that in 2013 we are witnessing the pauperisation of this very same, once proud class. Last Saturday, the Guardian ran an excellent piece on `The human cost of recession` by Chris Menon and Sophie Robinson-Tillett. The article dealt with the seemingly paradoxical situation of comparatively low UK unemployment levels coinciding with a drastic drop in the standard of living for many in work. People it seems are in employment, though frequently engaged on temporary contracts, usually part-time with sporadic adjustments in hours. Workers are increasingly denied a contract of employment. If an individual is paid an income which barely meets their needs, what are they expected to do if they are denied further support? Read more of this post

A Tale of Two Contracts

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Contracts

Copyright JK5854s photostream

Fergal:

Fergal is an IT professional with in-demand technical skills; he agreed to tell me about his industry. He spoke to me about `contractors` who are deployed in the IT industry with a contract of employment. The IT industry has for many years recruited `contractors` and they are not entitled to sick pay, paid holiday or pension. However, they enjoy a lot of flexibility and secure excellent wages.

Fergal (who has never worked as a `contractor`) told me `contractors` typically spend between one month and several years working on projects. The number of hours worked is usually in line with permanent staff around 37 hours per week but overtime pay is common.

I asked Fergal about the wage a `contractor` can secure:

A `contractor` undertaking the type of work I carry out (in my permanent role) might expect a daily rate of £350-£500 per day. But some could earn in excess of £1K a day. This would typically be London based and only if the `contractor` has very high in-demand skills, a `contractor` with comparable skills to myself could make excellent money though rates have declined in recent years.  Read more of this post

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