For those contracting in the public sector, today marks the last day that you hold the responsibility for your IR35 status. Tomorrow, any payments made from a public sector contract may be subject to tax and NIC if your end client has deemed you as inside IR35.
However, despite incoming IR35 changes in the public sector raising fears over the future of contracting, at least 50% of contractors will never return to employment or go employed, according to research from specialist contractor tax advisor, Qdos Contractor, which suggests the majority of the UK’s independent workforce will remain exactly that; independent.
The survey, completed by 1947 UK contractors, revealed that just 4% of contractors plan to go employed, but whilst the contracting workforce intend to maintain their independence, contractors did reveal however, that the public sector may not see the benefits with 85% of contractors suggesting they will not continue their contracts in the public sector – opting to work in the private sector instead – should their self-employed status not remain.
Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley, commented on the findings:
“That by and large, a telling proportion of UK contractors are confident enough to say they’d never go employed is positive news, in what ultimately is a period of uncertainty for the sector.
“With the right guidance and support, the UK’s contractor workforce should be able to continue to benefit from working independently – and in the public sector – without the fear of wrongly being deemed inside IR35 by public sector clients.”
The final legislation confirmed that public sector clients should have made their determination by tomorrow for existing contracts, else they may been seen as not taking ‘reasonable care’ and take the place of ‘fee-payer’ instead of the recruitment agency.
Seb Maley adds, “it will be interesting to see the results contractors are experiencing, particularly since the release of the ESS tool by HMRC.”
Working in the public sector? Tell us your experiences: