On 17 March, 2020, the government announced the postponement of the changes to IR35 legislation until April 2021. This is in reaction to the more immediate concerns regarding businesses management of the impact of the coronavirus well-being measures on their business and the wider economy.
1. Planned Changes for IR35 Legislation
The government had planned to implement changes to the IR35 legislation regarding use of contract resources on 6 April 2020. Although the legislation itself isn’t changing, the responsibility for making the assessment was transferring from the contract worker to the business.
More details are in our blog post “How do the Changes to IR35 Impact SME Businesses?“
The changes, due to go live on 6 Apr 2020, have now been postponed until April 2021.
2. An Opportunity to Review IR35 Policies and Processes
As well as the implementation postponement being an alleviation of pressure in this challenging time, it is also an opportunity for businesses to review the impact of the legislation on their workforce and employment practices, and to potentially take a more measured approach to assessment of whether contract positions are inside or outside of IR35.
The legislation isn’t going away; the changes are to be made in April 2021. So, we recommend, that after the immediate challenges of the Coronavirus have been addressed, businesses take the following actions:
- Review your policies on use of contract workers
- Review your processes for assessment of roles against the IR35 legislation
- Review your employment contract template for contract workers to ensure it covers IR35 legislation
- Review and update existing contracts you have in place to ensure they are aligned to the IR35 legislation (or will be when the changes come into effect)