IR35: Challenges and Opportunities

What the IR35?! Podcast – Frances Lewis from Osborne Clarke gives her thoughts on opportunities for recruiters

Kingsbridge MD Tom Wynne and Legal Manager Nicola Hayman are back with their podcast What the IR35?! and a riveting…

Author Photo by Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge MD Tom Wynne and Legal Manager Nicola Hayman are back with their podcast What the IR35?! and a riveting fifth episode. This week they chat to Frances Lewis, Consultant at business law specialists, Osborne Clarke about opportunities for recruiters in the wake of the IR35 delay and COVID-19.

The episode starts with Nicola mentioning a piece of recent IR35 news: that David Davies’s amendment to the Finance Bill (for IR35 to be delayed until 2023/24) was overruled and IR35 was put in the Bill to go ahead in April 2021. With this in mind, Frances mentions that Osborne Clarke are proceeding with the April 2021 deadline and are working on the assumption that there will be no further delays to the reforms. This is because the government will now be working to get the economy back on track and, as mentioned in last week’s podcast, IR35 is ultimately a revenue raiser.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for contractors, Frances says. “At the end of every downturn we’ve seen over the last 20 years, the use of contracted workers has been absolutely key to that.” She goes on to add that cost and flexibility implications will give clients a stronger imperative to use contractors than permanent employees. So, while recruiters may be seeing slow times for contractors right now, as the economy recovers over the next few months, more and more opportunities will be created. “Recruiters are going to be key to helping the economy recover. They’re supplying the people who will be able to fuel the recovery. They have the agility and flexibility to do that and they’re very good at repurposing people.”

Nicola goes on to ask Frances when recruiters should start looking at their off-payroll projects again. Frances replies, “I think they should start dusting them down early autumn.” This is when Osborne Clarke expect to start talking about it again as an organisation. Additionally, if there are to be any changes (and Frances doesn’t think there will be) they should be announced by then, which would be in line with the recommendations in the Lords report.

To find out more on the big questions facing recruiters right now and whether Frances things there’s a place for PSCs in the future workforce, you can listen to the episode in full here.

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