Procorre consultancy kicks off new initiative with research into forthcoming Off Payroll Regulations Changes; finds HR professionals ‘drowning in paperwork’ & consultants unknowingly putting their compliance status at risk

Procorre has launched Next10, a new initiative that looks to champion contractors and provide a supportive voice for the industry. Next10 will examine future markets, trends and the changing regulatory landscape and how it will impact contractors over the next 10 years. It will also track new industry developments, including globalisation, and how future workforces will bring about their vision of tomorrow.

As part of the Next10 launch, Procorre consultancy has released an extensive piece of research on what the April 2020 Off Payroll Regulations Changes (IR35) could mean for consultants and the Private Sector. Procorre surveyed over 500 contractors and 500 UK HR professionals to measure how ‘ready’ the respective parties are for April 2020 and where any misunderstandings or potential difficulties lie.

When originally contractors themselves were responsible for determining their IR35 status, this obligation is now the responsibility of the engager of each contractor (the client business). However, both clients and contractors need to be ready for the changes to avoid losing access to valuable skills and client projects respectively.

A snapshot of the findings:

The research shows that many of the contractors surveyed could unknowingly be working with clients in ways that aren’t compliant with their independent status.

For example, nearly a quarter of those surveyed (24%) work solely on site for their client and 57% work on only one client contract at any one time. Even smaller things like using a client’s email address domain, which nearly three quarters of those surveyed do (72%) can also undermine contractor status.

As the responsibility shifts from contractor to private sector engager to determine off payroll workers status next April, it’s clear that many HR professionals within those client businesses are struggling to make the necessary preparations.

47% of those surveyed said since the changes to IR35 regulations in the private sector were announced they’ve been ‘drowning in paperwork’, while half (50%) said they’ve found it difficult to concentrate on other tasks, and that planning for the changes has ‘taken over their time’ (47%).

Not only is the hit being felt by HR professionals, 51% think that contractors will definitely increase their rates after the changes and 68% are worried that highly skilled contractors will be driven abroad to the advantage of their competitors.

Procorre is working with contractors and clients in the private sector to ensure that the due diligence is in place for a smooth transition and the company encourages others in the industry to do the same. The contracting industry and the flexible workforce it’s made up of is still a major contributor to the economy, so Procorre is hopeful that any changes will be applied appropriately.

If you’d like to download the full report, you can do so here, or to find out more about Procorre Next10, visit the campaign hub.

If you’re a consultant or business looking for advice on the forthcoming IR35 changes, be sure to check out the multitude of services Procorre has to offer on the run up the April 2020 deadline.