Majority of public sector contractors pass IR35 assessment

New reports find 89 per cent of public sector contractors have 'passed' rigorous IR35 assessments, since April, the month of IR35 reform.

Leading contractor tax adviser, Qdos Contractor of The Qdos Group, reveals that since April, the month of public sector IR35 reform, 89 per cent of public sector contractors have passed its rigorous, detailed status assessment and in their expert opinion, sit outside IR35.

In the lead up to April 6th’s changes, in the months of January, February and March of this year, 90 per cent of public sector contractors assessed passed Qdos Contractor’s review service.

Qdos have carried out several thousand assessments on behalf of numerous public sector bodies and agencies, assisting them in making informed decisions about the employment status of their contingent workforce.

Such marginal change in pass-rate since reform was enforced suggests that working on public sector projects outside of IR35 is indeed possible, should the working arrangement be reviewed individually, expertly and compliantly.
Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO comments, ‘With the right approach, there’s no doubt that reform can in fact be managed, as reflected in the marginal difference in public sector IR35 results pre and post reform. That there has only been a one per cent drop in pass-rate since changes were enforced just goes to show that it is entirely possible to work on public sector contracts and outside of IR35.

‘Given that the responsibility of setting IR35 status now lies with the public sector client, the challenge lies in making sure clients and agencies are making well-informed, accurate decisions, and not simply placing their contractors inside IR35 to protect their liability. This would be shortsighted, and simply deter contractors from working with public sector bodies, jeopardising vital organisations and projects.’

‘Public sector companies and agencies must prioritise the quality of reviews over speed and quantity. Assessments should be rigorous, detailed, made on a case-by-case basis and involve all parties to ensure that accurate decisions are being made. This would pave the way for the continued use of contractors in the public sector.’

Many of Qdos Contractor’s contract reviews are carried out on contractors working in IT and Technology roles, as Maley explains, ‘The majority of the reviews we have carried out have been for contractors working in IT and Technology, which contributes to a higher pass-rate compared to say, locum nurses working on NHS contracts. These will typically fall inside IR35 given the inherent level of supervision, direction and control, which will vary significantly to that of an IT contractor.’

Further reading on IR35

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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