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IR35 is here… and here to stay!

Matt Gascoigne

Despite the consternation surrounding its potential impact on the public sector, IR35 is here and here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future. From Matt Gascoigne, Chief Operating Officer, GatenbySanderson.

Many public sector organisations invested a significant amount of time and effort highlighting the potential drawbacks of the legislation. But it’s happening and it is now time for them to focus on what they should be doing in the here and now to make sure they are compliant, and able to continue identifying and benefitting from the vital skills supplied by flexible workers.

The public sector moves forwards following the implementation of the new IR35 legislation earlier this month. Clients have become much more aware of the implications of the legislation and this has encouraged them to put real thought into the design of a role in order to appeal to the correct type of candidate. Likewise our candidates have quickly become even more adept at isolating elements of a role that would place it in or outside of scope and are making decisions on what they are prepared to accept.

What is clear is that public sector organisations have recognised the vital role that the flexible workforce play in delivering niche skills and highly specialised expertise and have worked hard to ensure that there is continued access to this talent pool. “It is clear that interim workers are engaged to provide strategic consultancy, stability and additional expertise during critical periods, often at times of extreme volatility. Roles are often unique and will rarely correspond to pre-determined categories or job titles and will almost certainly be hard to fill via other routes.

At a time when demand for flexible workers is high and pressure on the public purse is increasing, the only way forward is through an open and transparent procurement process that brings the interim, the organisation and the recruiter together in partnership to define the right solution for all parties. Briefing consultancies better and earlier is key to shaping a scope of work that appeals to the “best fit” candidate in order to secure expert, specialist interim support that remains vital to the evolution of public services. Greater due diligence from all parties at the outset will lead to better outcomes for both the organisation and the interim and ultimately protect both from potential risk.

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