IR35 critics call contractors to action

A survey on the prospect of IR35 reform in the private sector is asking contractors to share their views, experiences and fears.

The survey from Qdos features 15 questions each with their own multiple-choice answers.

The IR35 advisory estimates that it should take between two and three minutes to complete.

Participation is anonymous, and all participants are automatically entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

Anyone can take part, but the questions indicate that it is aimed at contractors who are working through their own limited company on an outside IR35 basis -- or who would like to.

Participants can feedback on other issues too, such as the likely effectiveness of Paul Uppal, the newly appointed Small Business Commissioner.

'Could impact contracting'

However IR35 is the main focus. “With a firmer understanding of how predicted [IR35] changes could impact contracting…[we] will voice your thoughts to the media”, Qdos said.

“As uncertainty continues with regards to the government’s potential plans to introduce reform to IR35 in the private sector… [we will also] campaign for the fair treatment of independent workers.”

Meanwhile, a separate, letter-writing campaign against April 2017’s update to IR35 -- the model on which any private sector IR35 reform is likely to be based on – is entering its second phase.

'Trite'

“We continue to write to every MP in the country and we have now almost completed the first sweep,” says Mike Gibson, a contractor who launched the campaign in November.

“I say the first sweep because it is my intention to write to each MP and then as they respond with the usual trite stock answers, go back to them with our reasoned arguments.”

Gibson adds that a template of those arguments, which contractors who have written to their own MP can use in reply, is ready to use. It is in three parts and available from the campaign.

Third call to action

As to those PSC contractors who have been working in the public sector in the last two years (so since the off-payroll rule update, but before it too), there is third call to action.

Sounded by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, it is designed to show how contractors were working before April 2017, and how they’re working now.

A survey posted by the association (and rephrased to allow contractors who now use an umbrella company due to the rules to take part), has been uploaded as a result

Run with the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, the survey poses questions based on the responses inputted. It is anonymous and open to non-IPSE/CIPD members.

“Take this survey and help us measure the effects of the legislation and to develop our future policy work in this area,” said the association, which is due to run the survey until February 11th.

It added: “With the government now looking to extend the rules to the private sector, IPSE is calling on… [you] to support a campaign opposing this move.”

'Real damage'

Wording from all three campaigners suggests each of them simply wants contractors to “join the IR35 conservation” -- as Qdos puts it, regardless of which one of the conversations contractors decide to join. And ‘the louder, the better’ seems to be the trio’s sentiment.

Gibson, for example said: “I urge you all to complete the IPSE survey, so we can continue to add to the already significant amount of empirical and genuine evidence showing the real damage that IR35 is causing.”

Editor's Note: Click here to take the Qdos survey.

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