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Contractors call for employment rights when working inside IR35
by Susie Hughes at 13:27 09/03/18 (News on IR35)
Changes to IR35 in the public sector and ongoing uncertainty regarding private sector rules has to independent workers calling for employment rights when working inside IR35.

Last year’s public sector IR35 reform handed contractors’ clients and agencies responsibility for setting IR35 status – a change that many expect to be introduced in the private sector before long.

Without the power to determine their own IR35 status, contractors risk being placed inside IR35 by inexperienced end engagers in the public sector, and made to pay the same level of tax as an employee, but without any of employment rights.

Now, more than 1,500 UK freelancers and contractors had their say on the matter and shown that the vast majority would like employment rights:

  • 89 per cent would like to be offered employment rights when working inside IR35
  • 11 per cent do not.

The research from tax specialists, Qdos Contractor, shows that regarding the employment rights contractors would like to be offered:

  • 50 per cent would like paid holiday
  • 23 per cent want pension contribution
  • 14 per cent expect paid sick leave
  • one per cent want paid maternity/paternity leave
  • 12 per cent identified ‘other’ benefits, the majority of which included ‘all of them’.

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, said: “In the most part, independent workers want to remain exactly that; independent. However, recent and potential IR35 reform is changing contractors’ attitudes to employment rights. And understandably so.

“Contractors no longer have the power to set their own IR35 status in the public sector, and the chances are, this will soon be the case in the private sector. Despite recent and potential IR35 reform being manageable, the threat of working inside it has and will increase.

“Given contractors working under IR35 are effectively required to pay the same taxes as employees without any rights, independent workers are quite rightly calling for something in return.

“The Government simply cannot expect contractors to accept such fundamental changes to IR35 without offering employment rights. It’s plain to see that currently it doesn’t stack up.”

See also: Contractors reject HMRC's IR35 CEST test tool - Shout99, March 2018.

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2018

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