The UK Government is encouraging employers to develop apprenticeship
training schemes. There are now an increasing number of organisations offering vocational training covering the main trades in
the building industry, including plastering, bricklaying, electrics and plumbing.
Our section on Education & Training covers
the range of courses now available from skill centres to university degrees.
HM Revenue and Customs has made
a compulsory shift to online tax filing for the construction
industry. The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is an electronic means of deciding which sub-contractors are paid gross and which have tax and national insurance deducted at source.
Every construction company that uses sub-contractors
and every other employer that drafts in sub-contractors for construction work
has to use the CIS. This was part of a wider plan by the Taxman to put self-employed contractors into the category of employees and so recover more National Insurance and Tax. Existing custom and practice within the industry suggests that if a bricklayer or joiner has a Construction Industry Scheme card, usually a CIS4, then he or she is self-employed.
The possession of a CIS4 card convinces workers that they are "self-employed
labour-only subcontractors" and, as such, the contractor has no requirement
to pay National Insurance contributions in relation to that worker. The Taxman
may not agree and has used various means to recover these payments by regarding
sub-contractors by default as employees of the main contractor.