Recruiters, here’s what you should be telling your clients about IR35

Now we are more than 16 months on from the new IR35 rules being implemented, are you reengaging with your clients to assess how they are getting on?

Many agencies were very proactive in the run up to the change in legislation, but now there is an opportunity to provide further advice and suggest better ways of working. Solutions that were put in place last year may not be necessarily the right solution today, especially if any of your clients’ circumstances have changed.

Here are a few key topics you should be discussing with your clients to support their IR35 journey:

Job adverts

With the increasing number of vacancies being advertised, it is crucial to ensure all information on the job advert is correct in order to attract and retain talent.

Ideally, IR35 assessments need to take place before the role is advertised, so the vacancy can display the IR35 status and potential contractors can make an informed decision. Failing to do so could result in contractors rejecting work and cause the business delay in their search for talent.

Clients should also provide the Status Determination Statement (SDS) to you prior to the contract being drawn up. If there is no SDS, this puts you at risk as the fee payer.

Make the most of your compliant supply chain

Umbrella companies are not IR35 solutions, but for those inside IR35 roles, they can ease the pressure on businesses by ensuring workers are engaged on a PAYE basis and accounting for taxes in accordance with IR35 guidelines.

By discussing options with your client, you can ensure they benefit from this compliant supply chain, which includes less admin for the client and provides statutory benefits for the worker, such as sick pay and holiday pay. This will also shelter your client from debt transfer, providing the umbrella company is not acting inappropriately.

To find a compliant umbrella company and avoid supply chain pitfalls, it is recommended that you make sure your partners are FSCA accredited.

Be open and honest

It is important your clients can demonstrate transparency when providing evidence to support an employment status determination.

If a HMRC investigation takes place and evidence is requested, withholding information, or failing to be transparent, can lead to further investigations or penalties.

We recommend volunteering evidence to give your clients visibility of flow down to the worker and encourage clients to ask other agencies they interact with for similar transparency. This should give your client comfort that its supply chain is operating compliantly.

Make sure contracts are clear

Contracts need to be completely accurate, including stating the role requirements and expectations.

Furthermore, if the role changes in any way, a new contract needs to be generated to document the nature of the new engagement. It is crucial that the contract reflects reality in a clear, transparent and concise way.

The right partner can bring knowledge and experience to support your offer and allow you to focus on the client service, role delivery, and helping your clients the right way by giving the useful advice and guidance on IR35, without you taking on inappropriate responsibility and liability.

If you have read this blog and have further questions, or think you need additional support, get in touch with Brookson Legal to speak to an IR35 specialist today.