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Five ways CEOs can reduce the impact of new IR35 rules

From April 2020, new IR35 rules are changing the framework of contract working in the private sector. We look at how CEOs can help offset the impacts – and the extra costs.

When is a contractor not a contractor? From 6 April 2020, it appears, when the updated IR35 rules come into force and change the framework of contract working in the private sector.

The IR35 changes are aimed at workers who traditionally bill through their own personal service company (or other third-party ‘umbrella’ companies). In many cases, tax payments and National Insurance Contributions will become the responsibility of the end client, for large or medium-sized businesses, and added costs may affect departments throughout the business.

The task of determining a worker’s employment status will also fall on the end client. If handled poorly, this may have significant financial and reputational implications for a company.

120x120-bethan-gill.pngIR35 has caused alarm among some businesses, who are now faced with the task of determining the employment status of a significant proportion of their workforce. For the CEO, it’s difficult to get that information, and to work out the impact this will have and the risks to their business.

But gaining central oversight of who is in the business at any one time and preparing in advance will be crucial to
avoiding any liabilities.

“It may increase your costs in the short term, but doing a risk assessment of the business around IR35 will allow you to make better-informed decisions,” says Gill. “It might encourage you to engage contractors in a different way, or you might realise the value of your contractor workforce and decide to absorb the extra cost. Carrying out this assessment before the new rules come into play will enable you to plan for any potential impact.”

The IR35 changes may also have other implications, including a loss of off-payroll talent. Gill explains: “When the rule changes came into the public sector, certain organisations tried to adopt a blanket approach and re-categorise everyone as employed. A lot of IR35 contractors left for the private sector because they didn't want to work in that way.”

Private sector businesses that have learned from the mistakes of counterparts in the public sector are well placed to take advantage of the opportunity IR35 presents. The changes are a chance to examine your workforce and identify whether you have the right skills in your business, for now and the future.

Our tools
Providing you with the data and insight you need to comply with IR35 Identify, assess and monitor your contractors

Five ways CEOs can lead on IR35 changes 

Educate internal stakeholders who engage contractors.

Consider hosting a facilitated workshop containing a mix of technical guidance, discussion and group input.

Use data analytics to identify the population of off-payroll workers in your organisation.

Assess the employment status of your workers before 6 April 2020 to assess the impact of the changes on your current contractors. Our online assessment tool includes a database to monitor off-payroll workers, which flags when each worker's employment status needs reassessing.

Communicate details of the actions required by affected stakeholders.

For more information on how to prepare your business for IR35, contact Bethan Gill.

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