A special message from our Managing Director Jason Atkinson
On the 4th of February I wrote an article on IR35 and the “Boris Boost” on the interim/contract side of our business and impact on UK plc. It led to a lot of interesting discussion on our social media channel and heralded a series of information guides and events on IR35. We had 166 clients attend our IR35 webinar last week and we have another one planned for the morning of 17th March (please click here for more information; this may also be a seminar or only a webinar for obvious reasons).
At Russam we have been busy working with our legal partners Bates Wells; reviewing existing interim assignments; continuing internal IR35 training; novating our agreements and operational processes; etc. and I’m pleased to say that we are feeling less anxious about the looming changes.
Performance is still fairly ordinary; we are seeing any Boris boost offset by the Coronavirus situation. As I write this I have seen that US trading is halted as shares plunge around the world! We might see a few “gap cover” roles but obviously we hope that the number of new cases begins to drop and we can get back to some normalcy.
Good news though… Last week we had a major new interim project come in every day. The topic of IR35 was covered in each briefing session but the focus was on the talent and skills needs; the situation that our client is in.
Of the five new jobs; the final status is not determined for each but I’m pleased that we spent the time to look at the facts and used reasonable care to consider the set-up. I would guess that 4 or 5 will be outside of IR35. The roles are all around change management, new strategy development and special projects. Key here is that we are providing a person (or team) that can provide a service; not taking up the role of a permanent employee.
My advice holds firm:
- Don’t make rash decisions about the use of interim managers and contractors!
- This is an excellent opportunity to take a step back, review your business operating models and consider the best approach for your projects and business talent in 2020
- Read our Guide: https://russam.co.uk/thrive-news/russam-guide-to-ir35
- Attend our Event: https://russam.co.uk/events/ir35-fundamental-changes-in-april-2020-with-russam
- Get the key people together to discuss and encourage a rich flow of information to help make the right commercial decisions
- Use expert internal and/or external advice
Finally, you may have seen an update from HMRC on the 3rd of March. The Treasury has confirmed the roll-out changes off-payroll working/IR35 but promises a “light touch approach” for the first year. This means that penalties will not be in place unless there is deliberate non-compliance; and there will be more time now for clients to review the situation.