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IR35 - What you need to do

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IR35 - What you need to do

The biggest fear around IR35 (OPW) remains ‘what if’ and the resulting fines and penalties from ‘getting it wrong’.

If you take time to understand the legislation and the impact on you and your business then the decision of a contractor’s status becomes something you can adapt to.

Our expertise and track record in this area (also having partnered with the leading contractor Insurance provider Kingsbridge) gives us the confidence to advise numerous businesses about their preparation and solution going forward.


To summarise, OPW Regulations were brought in to ensure that if a contractor is treated and acts as if they are a permanent employee, they should be taxed the same. The difference now is that the responsibility for that decision has shifted – whereas it was once the contractor, it is now the responsibility of organisations to determine IR35 status and correctly pay the PAYE and NIC.


The government’s own tool (CEST) for determining these statuses has had enough scrutiny as to its accuracy suffice to say that if you want a more accurate determination then you’re better served researching an alternative tool.

What you need to do:

  1. Review and determine the status of every role and contractor you currently have or wish to engage taking into account Mutuality of Obligation, Control and Substitution. As CEST doesn’t take into consideration MOO, you’re best plan is to engage a specialist – an organisation with access to a more accurate tool based on case law

  2. Provide the resulting SDS to each contractor for every role (and when that role changes) and give the contractor time to appeal the decision.

  3. Ensure all parties are satisfied with the decision and insure it if you can – only organisations like Kingsbridge do both the assessment and the insurance

  4. Avoid blanket bans or assume all contractors are in or out – you expose yourself to legal challenges and loss of contractors who believe they aren’t being treated fairly

  5. Ensure that your agency have dealings with an FCSA approved IR35 organisation to cover any legal aspects that may be challenged

We’ve conducted well over 500 assessments now using Kingsbridge’s tool so that each and every contractor, role and client have reassurance that come April 6th they are legally compliant.

With our dedicated service, Forward Role IR35 Assist+ - our one-stop shop for all your contactor needs, we can support your business through every aspect of the transition to the new regulations.

If you wish to just talk through your options or find out more about Forward Role IR35 Assist+ please feel free to contact Associate Director & IR35 Specialist:

Dan Haydon: 07773530780