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Is IR35 reform just GDPR all over again?

You'd be forgiven for thinking that IR35 is just another hysteria whipped up among the recruitment fraternity like some bogeyman running out of the cupboard threatening all of our livelihoods.

Whilst I don't think anyone truly believes it's the "end of contracting" as we know it, it does require everyone in the supply chain to put some real thought into how engagements currently work.

GDPR was a massive pain to implement, it felt like a never ending list of misleading, conflicting information was getting everyone stressed and worried.  When the day actually came, it was more millennium bug than the four horses of the apocalypse.

It feels like IR35 reform is similar, but there's a fundamental and very important difference.  The law in the main is not changing, and there have been numerous historical cases where HMRC have taken contractors to tribunals and have won. So there is a precedent.

All that's happening is the burden of who makes the assessment and therefore pays the bill has moved from the contractor to the end client.

But recruiters can't stand behind their clients; HMRC will move down the supply chain in certain circumstances, and if you're caught with your trousers down it could be a very painful experience.

It's important if you're a recruiter that you take action now because some of the contracts you're placing right this moment will end after this legislation takes affect.

It's critical to start assessing your contractors right now, working with all of the supply chain whether you're the recruiter or the end client and make sure the correct treatment is being made for everyone involved.