Tech company Neueda has highlighted the implications and significance of private sector reform around ‘off payroll’ contracted workers to a group of leading business representatives at a special event in Belfast.
In partnership with the Institute of Directors (IoD), Neueda facilitated a discussion between local business leaders and Kevin Barrow, Partner at international law firm Osborne Clarke LLP, around IR35 reforms within the private sector, currently being consulted upon by the UK Government.
Originally introduced in 1999, IR35 legislation aims to tackle tax avoidance from 'disguised employment' – where self-employed contractors set up personal service companies (PSCs) to avoid paying National Insurance.
Kevin Barrow, who has worked closely with Neueda for the past three years to develop its gig-economy strategy, has been described as the acknowledged expert in the world of contract working:
“Changes to IR35 in 2017 within the public sector meant that organisations now have to notify suppliers whether a PSC contract worker is effectively operating as an employee and therefore subject to PAYE and NICs,” said Kevin Barrow.
“Importantly, the organisation engaging the contractor is now liable for such contributions should they be deemed necessary. If approved, these public sector changes are likely to follow through to the private sector possibly as soon as April 2019,” Kevin said.
Speaking at the event Paddy O’Hagan, Chief Operating Officer of Neueda, said:
“Neueda supplies digital services to a broad range of clients across the private and public sectors internationally. Our unique hybrid resourcing model blending staff and contractors means we must continually stay ahead in the changing ‘gig economy’ which continues to grow globally in tech.
“We are keen to work in partnership with our existing clients and other business leaders to quickly and fully address developments that will affect how we work together.”
“We want to help businesses protect their IT delivery capabilities using contractors. If the changes within the public sector are indicative, individuals within the private sector will move towards contracts that are more of an outcomes-based project. In other words, the organisations that are the best prepared will attract and retain the best talent.”
“Everyone along the contractual chain needs to be ready to adapt in relation to IR35, which looks extremely likely to come into play next year. We would thank IoD for their involvement in helping facilitate this important discussion and Kevin Barrow for his invaluable insights. We have worked with Kevin for a few years now and he is the foremost expert in this field” Paddy said.
Kevin Barrow provided the group with guidance on the potential implications of IR35 within the private sector and how businesses can best prepare for mitigating these.
“IR35 reform within the public sector last year brought with it a significant level of complications,” said Kevin.
“There are however a number of ways businesses can adapt their contracts and business relationships to minimise risk. Planning for this at an early stage will be critical.
“We had a useful discussion with some of Northern Ireland’s leading business representatives on this issue and I commend Neueda for taking early steps to explore IR35 so every stage of the supply chain can make informed decisions,” Kevin said.
Kirsty McManus, National Director, IoD Northern Ireland, said:
“It is testament to Neueda’s forward-thinking approach that they have brought IR35 to the fore at an early stage so their customers, and businesses within the IoD membership, can review their current employment arrangements and plan accordingly.
“The IoD places membership engagement at the very heart of what we do. Events, such as this partnership with Neueda, play a key role in informing our members on the latest developments relevant to their business, providing access to leading experts and helping them to follow best practice.”