Contractors want employment rights if made to work inside IR35

According to a survey by Qdos Contractor, 89 % of freelancers and contractors would like to be offered employment rights when working inside the IR35 tax rules.

Only two years ago 80% of contractors were satisfied working without employment rights.

To many of them it contradicted the very definition of what it means to be an independent, free from any of the ties.

Contractors were fine working without any security as such, without holiday or sick pay, pension contribution and maternity or paternity pay and were satisfied paying themselves tax efficiently instead, typically through a low salary and high dividends.

What happened so contractors who were valuing their independence so much suddenly want employment rights?

Last year’s IR35 reform in public sector and the high probability of further changes in the private sector happened.

Those working contract jobs inside IR35 will be taxed at the same level as an employee, but without any of the rights that permanent staff receives.

And so, contractors have understandably called for the offer of employment rights should they be placed inside IR35, whether they work in the private or public sector.

Seb Maley, chief exec of Qdos Contractor, said the situation could be “unsustainable” for freelancers. “They are taking all of the risks associated with being a contractor, but are losing the reward of having a higher day rate. They see the potential position of being forced inside IR35 as completely unfair.”

“The government simply cannot expect contractors to accept such fundamental changes to the IR35 without offering employment rights.”