Baffled by IR35

Baffled by IR35 – Help is at hand

IR35 seems to be the term of the moment in contractor circles. The reason why it is such a hot topic is due to pivotal changes which, from this April, will affect anyone operating as a limited company (also referred to as Personal Service Company or PSC) and working for a public sector body.

A quick Google search produces a huge amount of information on IR35, much of it out of date and rather confusing. So here we’re going back to basics, with this quick guide to what IR35 is, what’s changing and what guidance and support is available to you.

For the uninitiated, here’s a quick sum up of IR35 to date:

  • Back in the late 90’s, HMRC caught on to the fact that some employees were leaving their employers and returning as a limited company the very next day, doing the same work, in the same place, in the same way.
  • HMRC saw this as “disguised employment” and in their eyes, such workers were short-changing the treasury by avoiding paying tax and NI on most of their income. To tackle this, IR35, also known as the Intermediaries Legislation was introduced.
  • Case law has seen IR35 evolve in the years since, but essentially it is a set of rules to identify workers who would be classed as employees if you removed the point that they have a limited company.

So what’s changing?

Currently, limited company directors working in the public sector decide and declare for themselves whether or not they fall outside of IR35. From 1st of April this decision is the responsibility of the public sector body they are working for. It is likely that many more limited company workers in the public sector will be “caught” by IR35 and the party paying them will have to operate “deemed payments”, i.e. deduct the same amount of tax and NI as they would for an employee.

Help is at hand

If you are operating as a limited company in the public sector you will be affected by these changes and need to consider your options from April.

For comprehensive, free advice in language that won’t baffle, go to . It is a one stop shop for everything you need to know about IR35 and what is changing.


Additionally, to help us administer our responsibilities under the new rules, England Associates have appointed Liquid Friday as one of our payroll partners. Liquid Friday have been supporting contractors for 10 years and are highly respected Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) members so you are in safe hands.



Brexit? by Naomi Murdoch-Smith

Summer 2016 we were all in panic – the referendum that ‘shall not be named’ – set us all in a fluster.Are we out of a job? Will this be the end of the UK economy as we know it? Will businesses shut their doors and barricade their bank balances? Will all non-British Citizens be banished to their homelands?

Brexit bluff? How has the reality compared to early predictions of how Brexit will affect the UK economy

Turns out we really over hyped the whole situation. Almost 10 months have passed and Article 50 has now been triggered and yet  little has changed our day to day lives.

Latest results (according to ONS) show the economy actually grew in the months after the vote and the Bank of England has raised its forecast for economic growth next year to 1.4% from 0.8%

But as an employee, how has this affected your job search and career progression? As an employer, how has this affected your business plans and resourcing needs?

As a seasoned recruiter myself I have reflected on how I have found the past 12 months. Predictions vs Reality. I specialise in recruiting within the ‘Built Environment’ and can only comment on my own experience and exposure to the London market. How does this compare to what you have experienced?

Prediction – Employers will stop recruiting or downsize

From what I have seen so far this has just not been the case. The Built Environment market is fluid, so people are always leaving (due to maternity leave, relocation, retiring etc) so there are always people that need replacing and roles to be filled.

Prediction – Candidates will not want to move to other jobs

On the contrary I think the Brexit decision for some may be a reason to move roles, especially from larger business whose projects are tied up in EU function. Regardless I have not seen a decrease in the amount of active job seekers, and passive candidates have still moved for the right role.

Prediction – EU applicants will not want to relocate to the UK

I am still receiving applicants from overseas, particularly from Italy, Spain and Portugal. However I have also seen an increase of EU citizens returning homes. The jury is still out on this one.

Prediction – Employers will not be able to afford recruitment agency fees

This comes down to our ability, as a recruitment consultant, to demonstrate the value of the service we provide. The best consultant with the best relationships I don’t believe will see any impact.

Prediction – Employers will take on contractors over permanent members of staff

Contract staff allow flexibility in head count, so for some companies this is a great alternative to hiring permanent staff in the face of uncertainty. However plenty of companies are able to forward plan further with projects unaffected by Brexit and are still hiring perm candidates.

There is still much uncertaining which I am sure will continue for a number of years as we negotiate our exit from Europe. However as recruitment consultants are job is to adapt to our environment and work with what we know.


Tell us what your thoughts are on the subject on our Facebook page, Twitter or LinkedIn.

This blog was written by Senior Recruiter & Team Leader Naomi Murdoch-Smith. The opinions stated in this article are those of the writer, and not necessarily reflected by the wider business.


Health & Safety Commitment

England Associates is proud to announce that it has passed its Health & Safety accreditation to SMAS Worksafe Certificate with flying colours!

SMAS a proud member of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) Forum, is rapidly becoming the H&S assessment scheme for UK House builders and Principal Contractors.

Holding a valid SSIP Member Scheme certificate means that a contractor will have demonstrated their Stage 1 H&S competence by meeting the ‘core criteria’ as set out in the Construction (Design and Management) regulations or the H&S module in PAS91

Simon England, CEO, commented ‘England Associates are fully committed to undertake its business in such a way as to minimise the risk of injury or ill health to people, damage to property or the environment. We understand and accept our moral and legal obligation to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone who may be affected by the activities of the Company.

We proactively work with our Clients to ensure high standards of health, safety and environmental awareness are achieved and maintained throughout each Contract.’


Corporate solutions …an introduction

The Corporate Solutions division was established so our clients have the benefit of an allocated and dedicated Account Manager who look after all their recruitment needs. Our Account Managers work closely with Managed and Neutral vendors as well as in house recruitment teams/HR Departments.

We also run our own Recruitment Managed Service to clients who request the service, this provides further cost effective and tailored solutions to suit specific or large recruitment campaigns. We are proud to be working with some of the largest and prestigious accounts in the UK including projects within the Defence, Aerospace, Construction Facilities Management, Engineering, Local Authority and Governmental sectors.

Parts of out Accounts team are working on Major Contracts that include Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Department of Work & Pensions, National Health Service to name a few.  This includes the provision of SC/DV & NATO Cleared staff.


House building Skills Shortage

30th of Oct 2014

UK new home registrations have hit a seven year high with the private sector continuing to lead growth, according to the latest NHBC statistics published in October.

The total number of registrations for Q3 2014 – 36,343 – was an 8% increase on Q3 2013, up from the 3% annual rise seen in Q2. These figures represented the strongest third quarter since 2007, and the highest number of registrations seen this year, NHBC said.

Private sector registrations rose 14% to 28,468, whilst public sector registrations continued their downward trend, dropping 8% to 7,875 against the same period a year ago. But this trend for the public sector was likely to soon reverse, NHBC said, as the next phase of the government’s Affordable Housing Programme had recently been allocated.

“Our figures show that the sharp housing upturn we have seen over the last couple of years is a genuine broad based recovery across the whole of the country, with pockets of strong growth in the North East, Yorkshire & Humberside and West Midlands.”

“But numbers are still from a low base and are nowhere near where they should be,” he added. That all main political parties viewed housing as an ongoing crucial issue, “reinforces the fact that the country urgently needs more high quality and affordable new homes,” he said.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, added:
“Help to Buy has increased the demand for new homes and builders are responding. The industry has increased its output at the quickest rate for 40 years and is looking to continue ratcheting up supply still further. “The industry is developing its supply chains and recruiting thousands of employees across the country from apprentices to experienced workers.

Simon England CEO of England Associates agreed with these comments:

We have witnessed a huge change in demand over the last 5 years and the skills shortage is much more evident now than in the last boom time in 2006-2008. Operational, commercial and technical skills are currently in high demand. The industry needs to be more creative to attract and keep the right skills. For example England Associates is currently developing an Eastern European network to attract quality tradesmen into the house building industry.”

The house building industry is giving the economy a huge boost whilst delivering more of the high quality homes the country needs.”