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UK – Barclays accused of contractors’ tax avoidance

25 February 2013

Barclays has been accused of a “cynical ploy” for avoiding to pay national insurance contributions for temporary workers after a report by the Guardian showed that the bank is making high-earning temporary staff establish themselves as VAT-registered company contractors.

Barclays did not comment on the issue when contacted by Staffing Industry Analysts.

The move is part of a change of policy reviewing the banks PAYE contract for services workers, according to the newspaper. This applies to workers earning over £275 a day who joined the firm in February.

The move was criticised by the Tax Justice Network which called it a “cynical ploy” showing a motive of tax avoidance. The bank has been accused of forcing workers into making them appear to be self-employed to duck employer obligations, including paying for national insurance.

According to Barclays, the policy will impact less than 1% of contractors. The bank said workers will be compensated with higher pay rates.

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