Last month we reported on the off-payroll working guidance rules, introduced this April, which affects individuals providing personal services via their own companies, to public sector bodies.

These rules emanated from the IR35 provisions which historically placed the onus of assessment upon the directors of the personal service company. These provisions have now moved this responsibility to the public sector body.

Due to the resource to deal with such changes being limited to these bodies, instead of individual consideration of contracts and services provided, blanket decisions on status appear to have been made.

NHS Improvement, the regulator, has now changed its guidance on IR35:

‘Our priority is to help encourage NHS providers to ensure that agency staff pay the correct tax, and following conversations with the sector we’ve updated and amended our guidance. This is to ensure that there is no ambiguity in what trusts are expected to do,’ the NHS Improvement guidance for NHS Trusts states.

‘You should not assume that all agency staff will fall inside IR35; please assess whether or not the IR35 rules apply on a case by case basis.

‘Where there are cases of ambiguity you should seek expert advice or approach HMRC, who also have an easy online toolkit for guidance.’

We have yet to see whether this guidance will be taken on board by NHS providers and whether this will generate similar guidance in other public service areas.  If you are affected by the new rules and would like further information, please get in touch.


For information of users: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

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