As you may know, back in September Kingsbridge teamed up with IPSE to deliver a webinar on the forthcoming rollout of IR35 in the private sector. It was filled with helpful advice, which you can find summarised on our blog, but it also gave our Legal Manager, Nicola Hayman, a chance to set out what Kingsbridge has been doing to help contractors prepare for the changes.
Last week, the Government announced they are launching a review into the implementation of IR35 reforms in the private sector, a move that will no doubt have many contractors excited at the thought of delays to, or even the cancellation of, the changes. However, before you and your clients go popping open the champagne, we recommend taking a look at the wording of the announcement and continuing to prepare for the incoming reforms as if nothing has changed.
Announcing the review, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.”
It appears, then, that the Government is still very much committed to the reforms launching 6th April and that this review is into how they will be implemented, rather than into the reforms themselves.
Kingsbridge’s IR35 advice
At Kingsbridge, we’ve been watching the IR35 reforms closely. Our Legal Manager, Nicola Hayman, had this to say on the review announcement:
“While we welcome the fact that HMRC has recognised a need to take another look at how these changes will be implemented, there is no escaping the fact that it is now too late for a thorough review of the proposed reforms.
“Furthermore, the Government’s admission that the purpose of this consultation is to make ‘sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible’ confirms that any delay is extremely unlikely.
“With this in mind, we are urging the businesses that we partner with to continue to prepare for incoming reforms – there simply isn’t time to wait for the outcome of the review and final legislation.”
In short, don’t wait to see if this review changes anything as it’s highly unlikely that it will. Just carry on making preparations in time for 6th April to ensure a smooth transition for yourself and your clients.
What will the impact of IR35 be?
At Kingsbridge, we’re hopeful that the effects of the IR35 reforms will be minimal and it’s up to recruiters to communicate this to their clients so that they don’t miss out on the amazing talent pool of contractors out there. As Hayman puts it:
“Contractors represent a vibrant and increasingly important part of the UK economy, and this point further emphasises the fact that there is no reason why companies should be concerned about continuing to engage with this talent pool after April.
“Even when using HMRC’s own calculations, the vast majority of PSC contractors are genuinely self-employed – and recruiters should communicate this fact to any clients who may be spooked by the recent flurry of blanket bans so that they don’t consider implementing their own veto on contractors.
“In our experience, good recruiters are happy to place genuine contractors outside of IR35, and will work with employers to determine the status of these individuals, helping the client to overcome reasonable care requirements.”
For more information, please email IR35@kingsbridge.co.uk.
Christmas is just around the corner and, beyond that, looms the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. In short, it’s the time of year when we naturally begin to think about the next 12 months and where they’ll take us career-wise – and, as people do, we begin setting goals for ourselves.
As we hurtle towards another new year, people everywhere start thinking about pay rises, and contractors are no exception.
You might be an employee thinking about becoming a contractor in 2020 and working out what your daily rate should be for the first time. You might be a seasoned contractor, giving yourself a pay increase. Either way there are things you need to consider to ensure you set the correct rate for yourself.
It’s that time of year when the words “next year I’m going to drink less/join the gym/lose weight” start popping out of our mouths. Quite often, we really do mean it as well. We’ll then all hurtle into 2020 with the best of intention before promptly giving up on 12th January. But what about making some New Year’s resolutions that you can keep?
Before you became self-employed, Christmas at work was probably either the most fun you had all year, or a horror you’d prefer to forget. Office Christmases can be wildly hit or miss and, if we’re being honest, can be often more of a miss (except here at Kingsbridge HQ, obviously).
On Friday 29th November , Kingsbridge played host to an industry insight event in London designed to prepare recruiters for the 2020 private sector IR35 reforms and launch Kingsbridge’s long anticipated IR35 insurance solutions.
Chaired by Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo, the event saw two panels of experts answer questions on the upcoming reforms and what they mean from a recruiter’s perspective. The event was not to be all doom and gloom. Instead it was about exploring solutions and new opportunities, and how Kingsbridge are leading the sector in overcoming the negative reactions to IR35.
Tax & Legal
The day began with the panel discussions. The first panel focused on tax and legal matters and included Andy Vessey (Head of Tax, Larsen Howie), Nicola Hayman (Legal Manager, Kingsbridge), Tania Bowers (General Counsel, APSCo), and John Chaplin (Associate Partner, EY People Advisory Services).
A quick show of hands demonstrated that not many people in the room felt prepared for IR35, which, according to the panel, reflected the much more general picture across the UK’s recruitment market. Chaplin pointed out that many of his clients were only in the early stages of preparations and time was running out, especially since recruiters, as fee-payers, are the party liable for ensuring correct tax is paid. After hearing from everyone on the panel, it emerged that recruiters should see this as an opportunity to reposition relationships with their clients and they can do this through taking the lead on communication, ensuring the supply chain is engaged, educating end clients and contractors, and offering solutions to clients to they can be guided through the changes. As Hayman puts it, leaving clients to panic will just result in them saying they don’t want to use contractors anymore.
Commercial & Industry
The second panel had a focus on commercial and industry issues and was made up of Thomas Wynne (Managing Director, Kingsbridge), Charlie Cox (Commercial Manager, SThree), Richard Harris (Chief Legal Officer, Resource Solution), and Julian Ball (Legal Director, PayStream).
The panel quickly established that the response of banks should not be seen as reflective of the wider UK market – contractors will still have their place in the workforce. Recruiters, then, should set about making themselves as appealing to the best contract talent possible. The panel also discussed that, while scope of work contracts may become increasingly common, they should not be seen as a ‘magic bullet’ for avoiding dealing with IR35. Proper determination still needs to be carried out. Again, communication and a proactive approach from recruiters emerged as a theme, but the panel also encouraged reflection on the part of recruiters, to look at their supply chain and ensure they’re running a tight ship. After all, liability sits with them.
IR35 Protect Insurance
The day ended with Thomas Wynne unveiling Kingsbridge’s brand new IR35 insurance solutions, which are now available on the Kingsbridge website. The three IR35 Protect packages have launched alongside our revamped Legal Expenses cover and offer three options to contractors: Essential, Standard, and Premium.
They offer everything our Legal Expenses Cover does, with the addition of £100,000 of cover for taxes and interest from HMRC, and penalties from HMRC. Standard and Premium, also offer the option of IR35 Assessments by our expert panel. Standard offers one review, while Premium gives the luxury of unlimited reviews. They remove all tax liability from the recruitment supply chain and can be purchased by anyone in that supply chain, but will protect everyone by indemnifying the party deemed liable under the legislation. Even better, the policy doesn’t change if the end client changes through the year, as long as the role is not materially different.
Kingsbridge are hosting an Industry Insight webinar on the 17th December. Nicola Hayman (Legal Manager) & Thomas Wynne (Managing Director) will go into detail about IR35 Protect and also summarise discussions that took place at the Industry Insight event.
Industry Insight Webinar
Just when we all thought things couldn’t get any more complicated with regards British politics, a 12th December General Election has been thrown into the mix. As the news is filled with stories of campaigns, Brexit, and whether or not nativity plays will need to be cancelled, most contractors are wondering what this (and the delayed Budget earlier this month) will mean for April 2020’s IR35 reforms.
If you’re in the process of setting up your own business as a contractor or freelancer then one of the biggest things on your mind is probably how best to market yourself.
There are lots of things you can do and some you’ll have already implemented: designing business cards, polishing your LinkedIn profile, signing up with recruiters, and speculatively calling and emailing companies or brands you would like to work with are just a few. However, building a website could well be something you’re undecided over whether or not to do.