Chief treasury secretary, Steve Barclay, said that the reforms will be pushed back to 6 April 2021. The move comes among a raft of announcements supporting small businesses last night (17 March).
Relieved but still frustrated
Qdos CEO, Seb Maley, commented:
“The government has seen sense and made the right call in these unique circumstances. Given the economic challenges that lie ahead of the UK, now certainly would not have been the right time to roll out needless tax changes that endanger hundreds of thousands of contractors’ livelihoods.
“It does give private sector firms vital time to prepare for reform, which can only be a good thing for contractors. What matters now is that businesses use this time wisely.”
Claire Brook, employment law partner at Aaron & Partners, thinks the announcement is overdue:
“Although this will come as welcome news to a huge number of employers, agencies and contractors there will also be many who believe this announcement has come far too late. Many businesses have already implemented their IR35 strategy and a significant number of contractors have already had contracts terminated.
“We have never seen a time where so many employment law changes have come into place so quickly, and we are seeing new developments each day. It’s been positive to see that during this time employers continue to seek solutions that will provide the best outcomes for their employees and businesses working together to support the community. It is important to reiterate that given the pace of legal change it is vital that businesses seek professional advice at this time to keep up to date.”
The end of IR35 reforms?
James Poyser, CEO of inniAccounts and founder of offpayroll.org.uk, said:
FCSA chief executive, Julia Kermode, is concerned about the money that has already gone into complying with the reforms:
“We are aware through our evidence submitted to various government bodies, including the House of Lords, that some businesses have spent in excess of £700k in preparing for the private sector reforms which illustrates only the tip of the iceberg of the cost to businesses and the economy.
“I very much hope that some detailed analysis of the wider implications of this reform can be undertaken in the coming months in order to establish whether or not it should be scrapped entirely, rather than simply ploughing on in 12 months’ time.”