IR35 update – changes to off-payroll working will definitely go ahead on 6th April

As you’ll be aware, yesterday the Chancellor announced his budget for the coming year. And, despite previous promises of support for small businesses and the self-employed; there was no mention of the planned off-payroll reform within the announcement. Undoubtedly the ongoing economic situation with coronavirus and its implications threw a major curveball into the mix so this is, perhaps, understandable.

The online budget report, uploaded to the government website shortly following the announcement, confirms (in paragraph 2.26) that the changes will in fact go ahead, despite the fact that many were hoping for this to be stopped or even just delayed.

So now really is the time to make sure you’re ready, if you’re not already.

Contractors need to be accurately assessed; and contract re-negotiation may potentially be required up and down the supply chain depending on the outcomes of these assessments.

Communication should be started and processes and procedures put in place.

At Hunter Adams we have been immersed in IR35 since 2000, and have worked with the public sector reforms since 2017. We’re actively advising HR teams and clients on this issue across the UK.

Key steps your company must take to ensure compliance include:

  1. Understand if your business is in scope or exempt of the reforms duties based on your headcount, revenue and balance sheet value.
  2. Understand your worker population and how many workers you have across your organisation (don’t forget about those who slip in the back door via procurement)!
  3. Understand if you are the end-user or if you have a client who would be assumed to take that role.
  4. Understand your duties and those of your clients.
  5. Agree which assessment tool you will use to determine status.
  6. Assess your workers to determine if they are in or out of scope of the reforms due to be implemented on 6 April 2020 (where appropriate these should be conducted in partnership with any client if they are deemed to be the end user)
  7. Understand from the assessment outcome if the reasons for the worker being deemed to have the off payroll rules applied, is due to the way in which the company (or end user) is ‘managing’ the worker. If this is the case, amend working processes and reassess.
  8. If no changes to working practices can change the outcome and the individual is clearly an employee subject to the off-payroll rules, consider the flexible employee based packages that the company will offer to make the transition to employee status more attractive – offering ‘staff’ fixed remuneration packages may not be enough!.
  9. Where required, prepare for contingency recruitment for any workers who may opt to leave the business post a determination of employee status post assessment.

We have interim HR consultants who are specially trained in IR35 who can help you, so if you require assistance with what may seem like a mammoth project; please do get in touch with us today.

Email our founder Dean Hunter (dean.hunter@hunteradams.co.uk) or contact one of our regional offices.

We’re here if you need us.