How To Overcome These Key IR35 Stumbling Blocks

Last week saw IR35 placed well and truly back on the agenda. On Wednesday 18th November, Workr Compliance joined OPRaaS and Engage Technology Partners for an exclusive webinar. Later the same day, I was part of the panel for Venturi’s online event, which looked at ways to reduce costs and increase compliance of a temporary workforce. 

Both events saw a variety of end clients from aviation, retail and manufacturing – and it was music to my ears to see that many have started to prepare. One thing that interested me however, was that engagers – big and small – are frequently coming up against the same obstacles and asking the same questions. So, let’s tackle a few of them head on…  

Responsibilities 

One of the biggest fears that seems to resonate with everyone I speak to is nervousness over not understanding responsibilities. Whereas before your contractors had responsibility to consider and determine their IR35 status for tax purposes, it now falls to you. 

With the threat of fines and non-compliance, it’s easy to get caught up. So break it down into stages. First, evaluate your business needs, and how you plan to handle the compliance project. Then, determine whether or not contractors who work for you are inside or outside of IR35 legislation. You’ll also need to communicate your findings so you can come to an agreement around new contracts before updating your payroll and HR system. 

Expertise 

Once aware of their responsibilities, many businesses choose to lean on an external party for a simple, accurate and transparent solution. But there seems to be a huge question mark over where you go to get that expertise. Do you choose a third-party consultant or allow a recruitment agency to shoulder all of the risk?

Both are viable options, but when engagers (end clients) do partner with a recruitment agency, I find they often don’t know what to do with them or how to use their expertise. I’ve also seen end clients utilising the services of a third-party consultant but still relying on tools like CEST – which we all know is problematic. Do your research, speak to your peers, and trust whoever you choose for external support. They’re experts after all.

Collaboration

Effective IR35 preparation needs teams from HR, payroll, recruitment and many other business functions to work together. It’s a tough balancing act – no-one wants too many cooks in the kitchen. So I wasn’t surprised when attendees at the webinar were asking, “How can I ensure everyone is on board?”

It’s important to map out the responsibilities of each department, communicate these to individuals and delegate tasks. That way, everyone will feel involved. Time will be your saviour though. After all, it can be difficult enough to book one meeting – let alone trying to organise multiple teams on one project. 

So, how can Workr Compliance help?

For starters, Workr Compliance can support you in your status determination by conducting IR35 assessments on each of your contracts. If any are deemed inside IR35, we will advise you on pay options – such as a compliant umbrella solution which will reward contractors with benefits, and help you to attract and retain top talent going forward. 

So, whether you’ve got an IR35 question of your own or want my advice with your preparations, drop me a message today at aw@workrgroup.com for a free 30-minute consultation.