Is your business ready for IR35?

15 February 2021

COVID-19 has seen a year’s delay to the introduction of the IR35 Off-Payroll Working Rules into the private sector. But rest assured it’s happening! From April 6 these new rules, which are already operating in the public sector, will come into force for all medium and large businesses as well as some charities and third-sector organisations. As the date edges closer Tom Martin, from our employment team, looks at some of the headline questions you should be asking – and invites you to this week’s webinar when those questions will be answered.

What is IR35?

The complexities of who it affects, and to what extent, will need some detailed thought and, in many cases, specialist advice. But broadly, these rules will impact upon your business if you engage contractors (either directly or through an agency) who operate through their own company or another intermediary. If the above applies to your business, then you must determine whether there is deemed employment between you, as the client, and your contractor, or even sub-contractor.

What is a contractor?

It may seem an obvious question to answer, but please remember that the term ‘contractor’ is broad, and it will cover anyone you ‘contract’ to undertake work or services – that could be the more obvious contractors in manufacturing or construction, or freelance design or writing services – don’t be caught out by thinking it doesn’t include you!

What will it mean?

Again, this is a question that you may want to seek knowledgeable advice on before answering, as individual business circumstances will differ. In short however, as well as taking on the responsibility for making the status determination, those affected may take on ‘off payroll’ responsibilities for those contractors, such as NI and tax payments, and that may go down the chain to sub-contractors.

Failure to act.

If you are a business that fails to comply, then you risk being hit hard with financial penalties. So, now is a prime opportunity to undertake a thorough review of your practices. Tom and our Employment team head, Partner Teresa Thomas, will be joined for Thursday’s free webinar by guests Billie Mcloughlin and Richard Skewis from Sowerby Chartered Accountants. For more details and to register go to -

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