• International Workplace
  • 4 April 2018

Contractors demand employment rights under IR35

The majority (89%) of contractors would like to be offered employment rights when working inside IR35, according to new research carried out by Qdos Contractor.

The IR35 legislation is a piece of tax legislation which is based on determining a worker's tax status according to the way in which they operate their services.

Of those who wanted employment rights, 50% would like paid holiday; 23% want pension contributions; 14% expect paid sick leave; 1% want paid maternity/paternity leave; and 12% identified ‘other’ benefits, the majority of which included ‘all of them’.

Last year’s public sector IR35 reform handed contractors’ responsibility for deciding if IR35 applies to them to their employers.

According to Qdos, this puts contractors at risk of being placed inside IR35 and made to pay the same tax as an employee but without any employment rights.

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, said:

“In the most part, independent workers want to remain exactly that; independent. However, recent and potential IR35 reform is changing contractors’ attitudes to employment rights. And understandably so.

“Contractors no longer have the power to set their own IR35 status in the public sector, and the chances are, this will soon be the case in the private sector. Despite recent and potential IR35 reform being manageable, the threat of working inside it has and will increase.

“Given contractors working under IR35 are effectively required to pay the same taxes as employees without any rights, independent workers are quite rightly calling for something in return.

“The government simply cannot expect contractors to accept such fundamental changes to IR35 without offering employment rights. It’s plain to see that currently it doesn’t stack up.”

Detailed guidance on IR35 is available here.