Concerns for HS2 contractors over IR35 reform

Major construction contracts have been awarded for the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham. Concerns have been raised that IR35 reforms could risk contractors’ involvement in the project.

HS2 contracts have been announced
The government has awarded £6.6bn in contracts and announced the creation of 16,000 jobs as the first-phase of the HS2 rail network gets underway.The goal of HS2 is to open up stronger communication links between the capital and the major northern cities. HS2 could potentially carry more than 300,000 people a day, with the aim of making the north more desirable to businesses.
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However concerns have been raised in the wake of IR35 reform. Leading contractor tax adviser, Qdos Contractor has outlined that accurate IR35 decisions are as key to the success of HS2 as contractors themselves. Recent public sector IR35 reform, which sees public sector organisations and agencies handed the responsibility for determining the employment status of contractors, has led to 85 per cent of contractors revealing they would stop working in the sector should they be placed inside IR35.

Accurate IR35 decisions key to HS2

Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos Contractor, outlined how important it is for these companies and the agencies involved in the public sector project to make accurate IR35 decisions on a large scale.Mr Maley said, “The creation of 16,000 jobs is positive news, and first and foremost we urge the companies tasked with building the first-phase of HS2 to embrace the flexibility and expertise of the UK’s contractor workforce. With controversy surrounding the overall cost of HS2, it’s essential these companies use their budget wisely, and look towards the UK’s highly-skilled, highly-flexible contractor workforce.“Given 85 per cent of contractors were once prepared to stop working in the public sector if they were found inside IR35, it’s vital that fair, accurate and ultimately, wise decisions are made around the employment status of the contractors due to start work on HS2.“The ongoing public debate and huge investment in HS2 means there is no room for error when it comes to deciding whether a contractor sits inside or outside IR35. Inaccurate IR35 decisions would not simply risk contractor involvement in the project, it could go as far to jeopardise the very success of HS2 itself.”For related news and features, visit our Enterprise section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit

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