Would monthly 'catch-up' meetings with PS consultancy be deemed as within IR35? Would monthly 'catch-up' meetings with PS consultancy be deemed as within IR35?
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    Default Would monthly 'catch-up' meetings with PS consultancy be deemed as within IR35?

    After recently starting a contract whereby my client is the preferred supplier consultancy of the end client, their 'engagement manager' has sent me mandatory invites to have regular 1 to 1 progress catch up meetings to discuss my progress with the end client's project, any 'BAU' and feedback from the consultancy themselves.

    I am both wary and puzzled by these proposed meetings. The Engagement Manager is not even remotely associated with the project for one, and has a more overall remit of client relationships and secondly surely this is at least a meeting I'd be having with the end client?

    Having never contracted through a consultancy before I am rather concerned about any control aspect of our relationship, particularly in respect of wording such as 'BAU.' By accepting these could HMRC deem me as being treated like an employee? My business is with the end client i.e. go in, get the work done and deliver, not with what appears to be a disguised HR process of performance reviews. Would be good to get people's views on this.

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    You've got to be a lot smarter than that. The title of the thread shows a complete lack of understanding of IR35. You cannot deal with IR35 by asking questions on a single element or by playing tick box contracting. You need to understand it and make sure you apply your knowledge constantly to stay outside. Even more so with fact you are working with a consultancy and their client. You've a double whammy to consider.

    Go read as many of the 1000s of articles on IR35 out there, particularly the ones in the links to the right and, if you've put the effort in, I can guarantee you'll be able to answer your own question and many many you've not even considered yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    You've got to be a lot smarter than that. The title of the thread shows a complete lack of understanding of IR35. You cannot deal with IR35 by asking questions on a single element or by playing tick box contracting. You need to understand it and make sure you apply your knowledge constantly to stay outside.
    I'm aware that there are many factors to consider in terms of working practices, client relationships and the contract itself to stay outside which I have addressed. However, I have raised this 'single element' as it is an exception and new to me in my experience as a contractor which is why I am asking on this forum

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    OK. To answer your question then. A set of 1 to 1 meetings does not deem you inside IR35 and HMRC will not consider you and employee by attending them.

    The content of these meetings is absolutely key rather than the fact you are just having a 1 to 1.

    If you can get them to call it a supplier review you've got even more evidence you are outside.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 7th June 2019 at 20:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    The content of these meetings is absolutely key rather than the fact you are just having a 1 to 1.
    Thanks. Using 'BAU' as an agenda item jumps out at me for starters, not to mention that typical consultancy parasitic behaviour of getting as much information out of you about what you're doing so that they can consequently get one of their own employees to replace you on the gig. Plus, could this not be deemed as a potential data confidentiality breach by the end client? After all, these meetings do not involve them.

    My thinking is that my options are either to go along with it, which I am begrudged to do, particularly as the person has absolutely nothing to do with the project (!!), inform the end client on what is going on to guage their response or just decline the meetings altogether and possibly run the risk of annoying the PS who are paying me. Incidentally, they still have not set me up on their automatic electronic timesheet system so currently it is done manually but that is another rant for another post on here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willy Win View Post
    After recently starting a contract whereby my client is the preferred supplier consultancy of the end client, their 'engagement manager' has sent me mandatory invites to have regular 1 to 1 progress catch up meetings to discuss my progress with the end client's project, any 'BAU' and feedback from the consultancy themselves.

    I am both wary and puzzled by these proposed meetings. The Engagement Manager is not even remotely associated with the project for one, and has a more overall remit of client relationships and secondly surely this is at least a meeting I'd be having with the end client?

    Having never contracted through a consultancy before I am rather concerned about any control aspect of our relationship, particularly in respect of wording such as 'BAU.' By accepting these could HMRC deem me as being treated like an employee? My business is with the end client i.e. go in, get the work done and deliver, not with what appears to be a disguised HR process of performance reviews. Would be good to get people's views on this.
    Working with a consultancy is not in any way the same as working through a recruiter.

    The recruiter is only interested in setting up contracts, covering their own *rse, and of course the money. Aside from that, they stay out of the way and let, actually prefer, you to deal directly with the client. It is a very transactional relationship.

    The consultancy, on the other hand, has a far more active relationship with the client. They have made commitments and take on a (sometimes quite great deal of) responsibility. There is far more going on behind the scenes than you might see. The engagement manager is usually the single wringable neck about the successful delivery on all those commitments, and it is quite natural that he wants to be fully informed about any issues, concerns, opportunities etc before he speak to the client next time so that he has answers to anything that the client might throw at him in those meetings, and perhaps also suggest new services that the client should buy (meaning potentially more future work for you, or other contractors).

    The end client is in effect the consultancy. For their client, you carry the badge of the consultancy (usually with "associate" attached, which in consultancy-speak means "freelancer").

    There is no IR35 risk to this. From your point of view it is just a regular synchronisation meeting with your client, e.g. the consultancy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willy Win View Post
    Thanks. Using 'BAU' as an agenda item jumps out at me for starters, not to mention that typical consultancy parasitic behaviour of getting as much information out of you about what you're doing so that they can consequently get one of their own employees to replace you on the gig. Plus, could this not be deemed as a potential data confidentiality breach by the end client? After all, these meetings do not involve them.

    My thinking is that my options are either to go along with it, which I am begrudged to do, particularly as the person has absolutely nothing to do with the project (!!), inform the end client on what is going on to guage their response or just decline the meetings altogether and possibly run the risk of annoying the PS who are paying me. Incidentally, they still have not set me up on their automatic electronic timesheet system so currently it is done manually but that is another rant for another post on here...
    And this shows why you cannot do tickbox contracting and have to understand your business, the clients business (particularly in a consultancy situation like yours) and IR35 before you can make a proper decision. Your posts show a fundamental lack of understanding of what you do, the chain of responsibility, the business chain you are in and all sorts of other things.

    I have absolutely no idea why BAU is an issue to you. It means nothing unless you put it in to context of exactly what usual is. I am a contractor, i go on site and deliver a service to my client. That's BAU is it not?

    If you can understand why you are having the 1 to 1 in the greater scheme and understand IR35 enough to know where it might or not be an issue is key. Having a 1 to 1 with your 'manager' to assess your performance and review areas of improvement is very bad. This is what permies do so must be avoided at all costs. In your situation the account manager is just reviewing the services being offered to their client.

    You say.

    am both wary and puzzled by these proposed meetings. The Engagement Manager is not even remotely associated with the project for one, and has a more overall remit of client relationships and secondly surely this is at least a meeting I'd be having with the end client?
    This is excellent. He has nothing to do with the way you work so cannot be associated to IR35 at all. Your question is answered right there. Period.
    So he has an overall remit of client relationship management. How can he manage that relationship without knowing what is going on in the projects he is delivering? He has to provide feedback to his client about how things are going and answer their concerns on issues, which will be on going projects.
    Why on earth would you be having these meetings with the end client? That is the engagement managers job and you have no relationship with the end client. You do work for your client and they deliver to their client. You only have feedback a very minute part of the service. Does the end client want to talk to a raft of people to get a picture of how things are going? Do they buggery. They want a single point of contact i.e. the engagement manager.
    Really must understand your situation better to be able to deliver a proper service.

    y thinking is that my options are either to go along with it, which I am begrudged to do, particularly as the person has absolutely nothing to do with the project (!!), inform the end client on what is going on to guage their response or just decline the meetings altogether and possibly run the risk of annoying the PS who are paying me. Incidentally, they still have not set me up on their automatic electronic timesheet system so currently it is done manually but that is another rant for another post on here...
    So up to here you can see now why you should not be begrudged to do and why it's happening. But **** me.. Inform the end client? What on earth are you thinking? Bar crapping on you clients board room table this is probably the fastest way of getting yourself binned. You don't work for the end client. You simply cannot go behind your clients back. Annoy them is a major understatement.

    Bit of a wake up and smell the coffee situation for you this.
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