Parliament deals final blow to anti-IR35 private sector roll-out

It’s full steam ahead now for the April 2021 roll-out to the private sector of the Off-Payroll rules, following Parliament’s acceptance yesterday [1 July 2020] of the Finance Bill.

The final blow came when MPs voted against an amendment that would have delayed the changes until the 2023-24 tax year.

Critics of the move to enforce the rules in 2021 described it as “short-sighted” and “disappointing”.

MPs had tabled amendments to the Finance Bill to prevent next spring’s roll-out, but yesterday, those favouring the amendments were outvoted 317 to 254.

As IR35 specialist Qdos described the forthcoming changes, contractors will lose the right to set their IR35 status when engaged by medium and large private sector companies. This will then become the responsibility of the company engaging the worker, with the liability transferred from the contractor to the fee-paying party.

“It is very disappointing that after four years of campaigning we have not achieved the primary aim of stopping this legislation. We, and our 4,000 campaigners, did everything we could – and the Lords Report, from their inquiry into the so-called reforms, accurately detailed the damaging effect these changes will have on the UK’s flexible workforce,” said Dave Chaplin, director of the Stop the Off-Payroll Tax Campaign and CEO of ContractorCalculator.

“The reform is short-sighted and if mismanaged poses a risk not just to contractors but to hiring organisations and recruiters,” said Seb Maley, CEO, Qdos.

“It’s therefore up to private sector firms to prepare for the changes, which can be managed with the right approach. However,” Maley warned, “work must start immediately – I can’t stress enough how important this is.”

Chaplin added: “With careful planning, firms have nothing to fear and can hire freelancers compliantly. We have already had a dress rehearsal… We now need to work together to avoid a cliff-edge scenario.”

Chaplin went on to predict that there would be greater clarity from the courts over the issue in the next year, “as binding authorities are released – and these are likely to favour the self-employed and provide a legal bedrock upon which firms can compliantly hire contractors, without fear of later repercussions”.

• Comment below on this story. Or let us know what you think by emailing us at [email protected] or tweet us to tell us your thoughts or share this story with a friend.

Implications of HMRC’s IR35 win in Hawksbee case unclear

IR35 experts say it is too early to say what the implications are of a rare win for HMRC in a case involving radio and comedy writer Paul Hawksbee.

Legislation 29 July 2020

GLAA rescues 10 Romanian workers from potential exploitation

Following the rescue of a Romanian woman from a property in Haverhill Suffolk, who was suspected of being at risk of modern slavery and labour exploitation, a further 10 Romanians have been safeguarded as part of an investigation by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Legislation 23 July 2020

Flexible working expected to rise post-Covid, says redwigwam report

Both workers and employers expect to see more flexible working in a post-Covid world, according to a new report.

23 July 2020

Recruitment bright spots amid jobs carnage

After Marks & Spencer’s announcement yesterday that it plans to shed 900 jobs – just the latest in a litany of bad news on the jobs front – recruiters could be excused for feeling a bit gloomy.

21 July 2020