Public Sector Contracts – Catch-22 Security Question

Public Sector Contracts
Public Sector Contracts for UK contractors

Public Sector Contracts


Public Sector Contracts – the Catch-22 Security Question.

Those UK Contractors who started work in the private sector and started Contracting in the private sector find discrimination against them for UK Public Sector Contacts.

It’s a Catch-22 situation.

Public Sector Contract Work
Public Sector Contract Work

To get any public sector contracts, therefore, you have to have security clearance.

No Interviews With Government Departments

Indeed many Government departments won’t even see contractors for interview if they don’t already have security clearance.

Therefore they are favouring those UK Contractors who have previously worked in the Public Sector as permies.

It seems, however, that this problem is most acute for Contract jobs.

This is particularly relevant in the current contract market as public sector contracts drop. Also, the Government is spending more and more money in boosting the economy. Most of that spending has an IT component.

No Clearance for Public Sector Contracts

According to one Business Analyst , “On asking what I had to do to secure that clearance, I was told I could only obtain it when I had been accepted for an appointment.

Public Sector Contractors
Public Sector Contractors earn less money

“In other words, until I have a public sector appointment I could not obtain clearance. Yet was not able to obtain clearance until I had a public sector appointment.

“So, that’s the Catch-22 sitiation. Contractors just can’t break into the public sector contracts market.

“What happens is that the agency who is given the task of finding the candidate does not even talk to those who have not been security cleared. Therefore, it precludes every person who has not worked for a Government department before.

“This is particularly onerous to people seeking work in these difficult times”.

UK Contractor Comment

This looks like a closed shop. It sounds like security clearance is just an excuse. Public Sector Contracts should be available to all contractors. There should be some way of getting security clerance without this rigmarole.

The Government should look at how public sector contracts are awarded. The Government’s security depends on getting the best people.

See also HMRC Sets Public Sector Contractors Trap.

Simply Umbrella – Simply the Best

New umbrella product Simply Umbrella came into being to solve the problem of the Government forcing contractors out of Personal Service Companies.

It adheres to all the new tax rules. They created it after the Chancellor’s spring statement.

It’s just like other umbrella companies in that the contractor is an employee of Simply Umbrella but they get to keep far more of their money than through an ordinary umbrella company.

It could be a great solution for both public sector contractors IR35 problems and indeed any contractor.

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  1. As I understand it, the reason for this is that it can take up to 6 months to gain security clearance. For permies, this isn’t a problem because they’ll just give you menial work interested unrelated to the project until you’re cleared, but they obviously don’t want to pay a contractor for 6 months to do little of value while they wait..


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