In January the government launched a four-week review of the changes to IR35 “off-payroll” working rules scheduled to come into force in April, as the result of mounting criticism about the way they will operate. The review is scheduled to conclude by mid-February and will see the government hold a series of meetings with stakeholders representative of those affected by the changes.
It is unlikely that there will be a significant U-turn, but there may be scope for the impact of the legislation to be reduced in terms of the range of contractors to whom it will apply, or the size of businesses who will be obliged to operate it. The new rules are currently scheduled to apply to large and medium-sized businesses as defined by the Companies Act.
The government will also carry out a further review of the enhanced CEST tool designed to assist businesses in checking employment status and public sector bodies’ experience of applying the rules since 2017.