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Call for Government to act on 'off-payroll' issue
by Susie Hughes at 10:47 16/04/14 (News on IR35)
Freelancer group, PCG has written to Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to call for action on the assurance process for ‘off payroll’ workers in the public sector after the House of Lords Committee on Personal Service Companies called on the Government to intervene.
The 'off-payroll' row erupted when it was found that senior public sector workers were operating through their own limited companies while working full time for Government Departments and quangos in order to avoid tax and NI liabilities. As a result, the Government felt it needed to be seen to be taking tough action to crack down on this. It issued a set of guidance notes to its own Departments which have been variously interpreted resulting in different standards of enforcement and compliance. (See: New guidance on office holders and IR35 leaves confusion Shout99, April 13)

Chris Bryce, PCG’s CEO said: “PCG has repeatedly expressed its concern that the assurance process places a disruptive, costly and unnecessary burden on both contractors and Departments. Now that the House of Lords Committee has come to a similar view, it is time for the Government to get its head out of the sand and address the issue.”

The group believes that this has largely been the result of an inconsistent application of the rules across Government Departments, stemming from a lack of clear guidance from HM Treasury. A view now supported by the Committee’s report, which states:

“As the guidance embodied in Procurement Policy Note 07/12 currently appears to be applied inconsistently across departments, we recommend that Her Majesty’s Treasury take a leading role in ensuring consistency of application and that it should go to greater lengths to monitor the implementation of the Procurement Policy Note 07/12 guidance across Government departments.”

According to the PCG, the findings of the report underline the urgent need to resolve much of the uncertainty and administrative burden that currently exists as a result of the confused ‘off payroll’ rules.

Mr Bruce said: “In the face of this fresh evidence, I ask Mr Alexander once again to consider PCG’s suggestion that a ‘best practice’ approach be implemented across the public sector. Such an approach would specify at the outset what the expectations would be for both the Department and the contractor with regards to the status of the engagement.

“PCG stands ready to assist the Government in this process and we have offered to meet with Mr Alexander and his officials to help them find the best solution to this mess.”

More information
Shout99 has followed the House of Lords Report and the ongoing 'off-payroll' saga.. For more information, see our News on IR35 Section. You can also subscribe to free email alerts when new items appear in this section, so you won't miss out on any important development.

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2014

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Call for Government to act on ... Susie Hughes - 16/04
    Re: Call for Government to act... brianc - 17/04
    Re: Call for Government to act... pooleyr - 29/04

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