With only days to go until changes to IR35 off payroll legislations come into effect, we speak with Blayne Cahill, Director of our highways, transport and infrastructure team, about the readiness of organisations and contractors in the sector.
Q: The countdown is on! How ready are the end hiring companies you work with in your sector for the April IR35 changes?
A: It is a very mixed bag, with some very ready and others still seemingly unfamiliar with the pending changes, and everything in between. I wish I could say everyone has used the extra year we have had to complete the necessary steps! However, there is still time and we are working with clients to help them through the process as seamlessly as possible.
Q: Do you think the majority of your clients understand the liabilities and risk they face from non-compliance?
A: Clients in the sense of entire organisations, generally yes. Clients in the sense of individual hiring managers we engage with within those organisations, not really. I suspect centralised finance teams might, but the information doesn’t always seem to be filtering down very well.
Q: Are you expecting to see any change in hiring requirements in your sector after April 6th as a result to changes in IR35?
A: Yes definitely. We expect to see a gradual increase in demand (as we saw in the public sector in 2017) as both a result of the need to replace those who have quit and because companies have put off hiring whilst they work to fully understand the processes they need and find solutions going forward.
Q: How important is the temporary/contract workforce in your sector?
A: It is hugely important. Funding cycles and the delivery of project-based work dictates the need for a heavy dependency on temporary workers. This is why it is so important than everyone in the talent supply chain understands their role in putting into place the necessary processes and checks.
Q: In a recent Carrington West poll (1st March 2021) we found that 60% of respondents had not yet received a SDS, is this figure accurate in your sector?
A: I suspect as we approach the finishing line this has come down, but it is still much higher than it should be. We have noticed a flurry of SDS’s coming through in the past couple of weeks.
Q: Are contractors being involved in the assessment process? Do you anticipate many contractors will appeal decisions?
A: To a very limited extent, which is causing frustration and the completion of inaccurate assessments. As a result, we are seeing a large number of appeals.
Q: Have you seen any trends as a result of the changes to IR35, for example, are contractors more likely to seek permanent positions?
A: Contractors seem to consider contracting a lifestyle choice, so most intend to continue operating compliantly but will be looking to charge their services at a higher rate.
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