Will a new Chancellor result in a delay to IR35?

Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 13/02/20 during Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle, leaving newly appointed Chancellor Rishi Sunak to deal with IR35 and the ongoing review, with numerous groups hoping this will result in a delay to the rollout of the legislation.

Tania Bowers, legal counsel at APSCo, said:

As he assumes his new position as Chancellor, we hope that Rishi Sunak will honour his predecessor’s pledge to take another look at incoming changes around off-payroll working. While a review into the reform is currently underway, there has been no suggestion that planned reforms will be postponed. However, APSCo maintains that implementation should, at least, be delayed pending a further impact review and completion of an assessment on employment status.

The UK labour market is currently ranked fourth for competitiveness globally and is one of the best recognised in the world. However, the rollout of IR35 in the private sector has the potential to not only impact those individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit to assume the risks and burdens of self-employment, but also those sectors of the economy which rely most heavily on independent contractors, such as banking, pharmaceuticals and technology. We hope that this fact will resonate with the new Chancellor, particularly given his strong background in business and finance.

We are calling on the Government to allow sufficient time for full review, which will result in a statutory definition of the self-employed and sub-groups within that definition, including Independent Professional.

Dave Chaplin, director of StopTheOff-PayrollTax campaign, which campaigns against the rollout of the “off-payroll rules” also hope this appointment will result in a delay to the legislation.

Mr Chaplin said:

The new Chancellor must delay the Off-Payroll Tax, because it is decimating the flexible workforce resulting in a mass exodus of contractors from companies, leaving projects in disarray, with work being shifted off-shore.

However, Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos, who offers insurance and tax advice for the self-employed is calling for the new Chancellor to put an end to IR35 once and for all.

Mr Maley said:

With IR35 reform rapidly approaching, it’s vital that Rishi Sunak succeeds where Sajid Javid failed. We urge the new Chancellor to act immediately and halt the introduction of needless and short-sighted changes to the off-payroll working rules.

However, contractors and private sector firms cannot hang their hopes on a last-minute rethink, even if scrapping IR35 reform is the sensible thing to do. Businesses must work off the basis that changes will be enforced and should continue their preparations.

On the 12/02/20 inniAccounts research showed that 53 per cent of contractors are planning on leaving their clients and states that 31 per cent of contractors are suffering from mental health issues due to IR35. 






Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.