When Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng announced – in their now infamous mini-budget – that they were repealing the IR35 reforms, we saw the spark of excitement for engaging with contractors reignited.
That excitement from both recruiters and businesses seems to have fizzled out faster than a firework on a rainy Bonfire Night, but it is a needless knee-jerk reaction born out of misplaced caution. There are many benefits to engaging with contractors that vastly outweigh any challenges brought on by IR35. Ryan Dawson, IR35 Project Manager at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance talks through those benefits.
Believe it or not, IR35 is manageable
It may go against conventional wisdom, but IR35 is manageable if you engage with experts to support you along the way, whether you are a business or a recruiter. IR35 experts can help you build an IR35 framework and provide services, such as contract reviews and IR35 status checks, to help ensure you are making the right status determination and are remaining compliant.
There are no PAYE compliance obligations
When you engage a contractor compliantly outside IR35, you don’t have the same PAYE compliance obligations that comes with hiring employees. This includes, for example, saving on Employers National Insurance contributions (NICs). This is very cost effective compared to hiring a fixed-term employee to work on a short-term project.
You do not have to cover the cost of employment rights and benefits
If you engage a contractor outside IR35, you are not responsible for a whole raft of employment benefits, including sick pay, annual leave entitlement and so on. It is understood by contractors that they are responsible for covering their own costs for time off sick and for holidays, so this is another financial saving for you.
You are engaging a trusted expert
Contractors are usually engaged where specialist skills are needed for a project. This is because it is often faster and more cost effective to outsource work to a trusted expert. Engaging a contractor means your project can begin without delay, rather than having to go through the process of recruiting and training a new employee, with all the associated time and monetary costs involved.
Flexible help in busy periods
You know that business ebbs and flows. One minute you’re ticking along quite nicely, the next minute you have more work than your permanent team can handle. Engaging contractors gives you a flexible, specialist resource that can help you get through the busy period, reducing extra stress on your team. In addition, when the project ends so does the contract, thus you do not have the continued expense of paying them once things have quietened down.
This is especially useful if your business model revolves around providing one-off projects for clients rather than regular services. You can retain a smaller team of employed staff to manage the consistent, ongoing work, then engage specialist contractors during those busy periods.
Contractors can help fledgling businesses grow
If your business is relatively new, then in this difficult economy you will be no stranger to working with tight budgets and a lack of resources. Not to mention the never-ending paradox of needing more staff to be able to take on more work, but not being able to afford more staff until you take on more work.
Contractors can give you a great solution that will help you to grow your business by providing support when you need it – enabling you to take on work and attain financial stability before having to take on permanent staff.
Access to expert knowledge
Contractors are the best kind of subject matter expert. They know their industry and sector inside out because they work for multiple clients within it. This means they are bringing knowledge and experience from different areas of your sector that you might not have access to. It makes them efficient problem-solvers and solution-providers, they can focus all that hard-earned experience on to your project and bring ideas that you may not have even considered as possible.
Less work for you
As a client, engaging a contractor simply means less work. There is much less management and supervision involved than with an employee – it is more a case of briefing, conferring, and letting them use their expertise to handle your project. This means that engaging a contractor it not only cost-effective, but it also makes for good time-management. You can get on with the work you need to be doing, safe in the knowledge that your project is in expert hands.