IR35 for Employers

Off-Payroll reform brings IR35 legislation in the private sector in line with the public sector. The Contractor shall no longer be responsible for assessing status and neither will the Contractor be responsible for the Tax due to HMRC.

Instead, new legislation (as per Chapter 10 ITEPA 2003) transfers the responsibility of assessing status from the Contractor to the Medium or Large Size End Client (size defined as per the Companies Act 2006 s382).

As well as the responsibility transferring, the tax liability will now rest with the deemed employer (or fee-payer) that is closest to the Contractor’s limited company.

What should I do?

  • Act NOW
  • Assess your current contingency workforce / future contingency hiring plans
  • Partner with a Technology Recruitment Agency with demonstrated IR35 expertise

The cost of getting it wrong

With the changes to IR35, liability shifts to the Fee Payer when engaging a Contractor. It is now the responsibility of your business to determine if they fall inside or outside IR35. Not only will this be time consuming, but issues can arise from lack of IR35 knowledge in your HR Team / Hiring Managers.

According to Kingsbridge’s expert IR35 Legal Team, if due care and attention is not given to these status determinations (for example, if blanket or role-based determinations are made), then the Hiring Organisation (not the fee-payer) becomes liable for any unpaid tax and the legal and financial headache that comes with sorting this out. The fee payer is responsible where reasonable care can be demonstrated.

An example of getting it wrong

Aside from the financial risk, it is vitally important to be properly prepared when assessing IR35 determinations, due to the risk of a Talent Drain. Recent research has found that 61% of Contractors would look for another role if incorrectly assessed.

Getting it right

Getting it wrong can prove costly, but if you get it right, the benefits are huge:

  • Minimise risk and exposure
  • Access to the best technology talent
  • No disruption to your projects
  • A compliant workforce

Blanket ban or assessment?

You might be thinking, “there’s too much risk involved, I’ll just put a blanket ban on Limited Company / PSC Contractors” regardless of their individual circumstances, or you might decide to blanket assess your contingent workforce.

  • HMRC have said Blanket Assessments might not meet the reasonable care test if true circumstances are not considered.
  • Companies who fairly assess IR35 compliance will be more attractive to genuine Technology Contractors vs. those who do not.

Why not use the CEST Tool?

HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool has been widely declared inaccurate and unreliable. HMRC themselves have routinely refused to stand over determinations reached by CEST. In 2019 NHS Digital was hit with a £4.3m tax bill as a direct result of the IR35 status determinations it carried out using CEST.

Our IR35 solution

We have partnered with Kingsbridge to bring you an innovative hybrid solution that combines the best technology, expert support, and comprehensive insurance.

IR35 Assured provides an external assessment by IR35 experts, ensuring reasonable care is taken over your determination. Working practices are reviewed and consideration is given to individual circumstances. What’s more, liability is shifted from you to us.

How it works











The quick online IR35 assessment, Kingsbridge’s Status Tool, has been developed utilising the expertise of the UK’s leading IR35 Tax Expert, Andy Vessey.

Full 360 Contract Recruitment Solution

Headache-free technology contract recruitment from start to finish:

  • Our 20+ years contact recruitment experience ensures we will always find you the top contract talent for your IR35 compliant engagement
  • We manage your contractors throughout the engagement, including all legal and payment requirements

Get in touch

Emma Douds

IT Contracts Manager NI & UK

+44 (0) 2895 211 121
[email protected]

Nathaniel McGrory

IT Recruitment Consultant

+44 (0) 2895 211 121
[email protected]

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