Only days after Budget 2020 confirmed that IR35 reforms to the private sector would go ahead, the changes have been postponed until 6 April 2021. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay MP, confirmed “This is a deferral and not a cancellation”. Amongst the unintended consequences of this legislation, the lack of employment rights for these workers would have added to the unprecedented difficulties self-employed businesses will face in the months ahead.
Whilst some businesses have begun their preparations, many felt that the implementation was being rushed, particularly as IR35 is a complex set of rules. The delay will allow for more accurate status determinations to be made and time for the Lords review to be published.
For those who have already been affected by large companies refusing to work with contractors, or making blanket decisions, it may be too late. However, those still contracting will provide much needed flexibility in the work force for the challenges confronting us in the coming months.