Contractor sector sees Winchester case as a game-changer

The contracting industry has come out in favour of the significance of the Susan Winchester case, saying it is a potential ‘game-changer’ for contractors who get caught by IR35.

Qdos, an IR35 contract review firm, said yesterday that the case “sets a huge precedent,” as it shows that individuals taxed as workers – and not contractors – deserved employment rights.

“It could well be the catalyst for many more cases like this,” says the firm’s CEO Seb Maley.

The FCSA went further, saying Winchester’s holiday pay claim being granted by HMRC after CEST deemed her ‘employed for tax purposes’ constituted a “landmark” decision.

It too foresees future payouts by HMRC and firms in the chain. “This case is just the tip of the iceberg”, it said. “We’re likely to see more fallout as contractors stand up for their rights.”

Larsen Howie agrees, saying the case could prove “hugely significant” for other contractors “pushed into similar arrangements” (-- Winchester was forced to use a PAYE umbrella).

The IR35 advisory added: “And [the decision of the Revenue and the intermediary firms to settle before tribunal] may open the floodgates for similar legal fights going forward.”

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