Contract workers – a complex market…..?

Wednesday 01 November 2017 | 10:41 AM

The last 10 years have seen a huge change in the way people are employed in the UK, as employers have made a distinct move towards different types of employment contracts. Unlike years gone by, it is now rare that an employee works for the same firm for 30+ years on a permanent contract and then retires.


The employment market has become increasingly populated by contract workers who offer flexibility for both the employer and employee and the contract arrangement can often work well for both parties. Contract workers can range from zero hours contractors, fixed term, agency or temporary contract workers, Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) workers, IT contractors and day rate contractors - all of these now represent a significant proportion of the employed population in the UK today.


However, this has brought with it a downside and some unintended consequences in the mortgage market. For some time, banks and building societies have taken a relatively dim view of contract workers, in the main because each lender takes a different view on what a contractor actually is! Criteria varies significantly based on how long you may have been contracting, has the contract been renewed, how long is left on the contract etc.


Increasingly though, there has been a shift and generally mortgage lenders have become more open minded about contract workers and their criteria has started to ease. That said, given the often-complex nature of this type of employment, contract workers will often need the help of a qualified mortgage specialist to source the right criteria and best deal to suit their circumstances.


An independent mortgage adviser will review your specific circumstances and seek to source the market and find a lender who will take a flexible view on the client’s (sometimes complex) employment contract position, so that they are able to buy their first home, move up or down, or remortgage to a better product.


Finding the best solution for your circumstances needs an experienced eye to ensure that you find the right balance between interest rate, fees, term and type of product and penalties. Local, face to face, independent mortgage advice can smooth the whole process and we would be delighted to help.


Paul Hardingham and Tony Ibson are Mortgage and Protection Advisers at Innovate Mortgages and Loans. Both have over 20 years of experience advising individuals and businesses across the North East of England. They can be contacted for bespoke advice at or or call 0191 223 3514.


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