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COVID-19, lockdown and IR35 prove detrimental to contractor wellbeing, survey shows reported that COVID-19, the resulting lockdown and IR35 have “…had a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of many UK contractors, for whom concerns have been compounded by exclusion from Government support and the impending April 2021 extension of Off-Payroll Tax to the private sector.”

Here are a few findings, but there’s a lot more in the article so do check it out. From those surveyed…

  • 50% of contractors have suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19
  • Only 6% believe the support available to the self-employed has been adequate (see petition at end of newsletter)
  • 33% of contractors noted that they haven’t worked at all following lockdown

As Dave Chaplin mentions, it’s not all doom and gloom. Many contractors have had access to financial reserves they have been able to utilise and a good number have benefitted from lockdown in different ways.

Worryingly for 30%, stress or anxiety has impaired their ability to work. If you’re finding it hard and need to talk to someone, do contact the amazing people here

Before you read on …

  1. If there are others you think that would benefit send it on, or share the link –
  2. For those who have just joined us, welcome! You can view previous news on the website
  3. If you have stuff to share let us know and we’ll give a shout out to the (IR35) world.

Dave Chaplin discussing the recent Kickabout case and decision with barrister Keith Gordon

In this episode they analyse the decision made by the tribunal to allow HMRC’s appeal, including remaking the decision to be “inside IR35”.

Key points they cover:

  • The application of Ready Mix Concrete and Hall v Lorimer
  • How the appeal succeeded, re Clause 8 reinterpretation, and over-reliance on MOO argument, not control.
  • Application (or not) of Autoclenz discussions
  • Control: Framework of and “narrowness”
  • Durations of contracts on status matters
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and aging gardeners

IR35 and Benedict Cumberbatch?… What’s not to like?!

How to show you have the right to substitution as a contractor (and how perhaps clients can ensure this too)

good article from Martin Baxter at Kingsbridge looking at this topic in detail. Included are some ways you can help to demonstrate that right;

  • You should make sure that your contracts state you have the right and how this would work in practice; 
  • You should ensure your contracts name your PSC rather than you as an individual to make clear your clients are paying for a service, rather than for you;
  • You should check working practices such as attending “job interviews” in order to secure a contract since a genuine contractor relationship should be a B2B relationship rather than an employer/employee one.

Remember that on its own, right to substitution won’t necessarily place you outside IR35, read the article to make sure you’re in the know. 

Save the date – Q&A roundtable for IT contractors 3rd Sept

Realtime Recruitment are partnering with IR35 experts, Brookson, and are hosting an IT Contractor Q&A roundtable to help you prepare for the legislative changes in April 202.

Robert Arnold, IR35 Expert at Brookson, joins Realtime Recruitment for this live Q&A session.

A question of trust between clients and recruitment firms…

Clients, can your suppliers be counted on to manage IR35 compliantly?

Is it both an opportunity and threat to recruitment firms that clients are perhaps going to rely on both their depth of knowledge and sourcing ability?

In this article Matt Fryer, Head of Legal Services at Brookson Group advises on the postponed roll out.

Think more could be done?

So far over 91K have signed this petition asking for a Covid Support Package for Directors / shareholders of small limited companies.

Thanks for sharing Kirti.

If you’d like to sign it too. Here’s the link


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