IR35: Challenges and Opportunities

What the IR35?! Podcast: Ann Swain and Tania Bowers from APSCo give us an insight into the future of the contract market

It’s time for What the IR35?! again – Kingsbridge’s podcast for all things IR35. In this, the sixth episode, hosts…

Author Photo by Kingsbridge

It’s time for What the IR35?! again – Kingsbridge’s podcast for all things IR35. In this, the sixth episode, hosts Tom Wynne (Kingsbridge’s MD) and Nicola Hayman (Kingsbridge’s Legal Manager) speak to APSCo’s founder and CEO Ann Swain, and APSCo’s Legal Counsel, Tania Bowers, about their thoughts on the future of the contract market.

Ann is cautiously optimistic on the situation. “I think there’s a rebound happening already, particularly in the contractor market. … Whether it’s going to come up to the height it was before, I don’t know.” She does caveat this by saying we’re dependent on whether or not there’s a second COVID wave later this year. Despite this and the IR35 reforms, she goes on to say, later in the episode, that “there is a contract market in the future. A bigger contract market than there ever has been.” These are definitely words we like to hear.

As far as IR35 goes, Tania is adamant that “it was the right thing to do to delay the implementation. It was going to be extremely difficult come April to implement.” However, “We continue to believe that the reform should be delayed until there is a review of employment status, and also until umbrella companies are regulated.” APSCo will continue to lobby for this but, at the same time, they are preparing for an April 2021 launch since current events are unlikely to make the government change its mind.

Tania mentions that APSCo’s Legal Helpdesk isn’t currently seeing any IR35 calls at the moment, which suggests it has dropped off many radars, but Tania agrees with Frances Lewis’s point in last week’s episode, that early autumn is the right time for preparations to begin again in earnest. This will include ASPSCo members educating their clients to ensure they are prepared.

To hear more on APSCo’s thoughts around the future of contracting, which industries are seeing an uplift for contractors and how APSCo was originally founded off the back of IR35, you can listen to the full episode here.

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