IR35 reform arrives: how Qdos have protected an industry

IR35, Off Payroll Reform

Reflecting on this historic moment and the steps taken to support businesses

After years of speculation, lobbying and then, against all odds, a 12-month delay, IR35 reform was finally introduced in the private sector on 6th April, marking arguably the most significant moment in the history of this legislation. 

Following the reform, medium and large businesses are now responsible for determining the IR35 status of contractors. As part of the changes, the liability has been transferred to the fee-paying party in the supply chain. This is similar to public sector changes enforced in 2017.

The arrival of private sector reform is a date that we have been prepared for at Qdos Contractor for a number of years- well before public sector changes arrived. So, having reached this historic milestone, we took a moment to reflect on our achievements and the steps we continue to take in helping businesses compliantly manage IR35 reform. 

Educating an industry

IR35 is a complex tax legislation, easily misinterpreted and misapplied. We know that education holds the key to giving businesses the confidence to successfully implement the changes, which is why we made it our mission to simplify IR35 and equip firms with the tools and information to navigate reform. This is something our experts still do through webinars, advice articles, whitepapers, research, guides and comment in national media. 

Forming thousands of partnerships

In recent years, we have formed thousands of strategic partnerships that are tailored to the exact requirements of a business, viewing this as a more effective approach than one size fits all packages. Since 2017, we have supported over 2,800 organisations, delivering a wide range of IR35 services through the Qdos Status Review facility – from audits to IR35 status reviews, IR35 insurance, consultancy and training.


Qdos IR35 Reform Infographic

Delivering award-winning IR35 solutions 

Our services are award-winning, with Qdos collecting two prestigious industry awards for at the Contracting Awards 2020. We were named ‘The Best Legal Compliance or Tax Adviser’ and ‘The Best Insurance Provider or Broker’ for our leading expertise, quality of services and proven track record of successfully representing clients when it matters. The Qdos Status Review facility also achieved Qdos the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2017.

Protecting flexible working 

Since the legislation arrived in 2000 we have carried out over 150,000 expert IR35 status reviews for contractors. As part of our work supporting public and private sector organisations, we have reviewed more than 32,000 (and counting), so these parties can be confident of their compliance and contractors are subject to an independent, rigorous and trusted assessment. 

Of these contracts, we have recommended that 87% belong outside of IR35 – an arrangement which allows businesses to continue to benefit from the skills, flexibility and savings offered by genuine contractors.

Holding HMRC to account

We have been vocal about our distrust of HMRC’s IR35 tool, Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) since its release in 2017. Given CEST ignores crucial aspects of the IR35 legislation upon which status can hinge, we do not believe the tool is fit for purpose and advise businesses that it endangers IR35 compliance. 

Such is the extent of our concern regarding CEST we launched a campaign, urging businesses to use anything but just CEST – including competing IR35 specialists – to determine the IR35 status of contractors. 

In the coming months and as the dust settles on the reform, we will carry on supporting businesses with their IR35 processes. As genuine experts who have specialised in the IR35 legislation since its introduction, we are proud of our work and the difference that we have been able to make.


For more information and to hear how Qdos can support your business with its IR35 compliance, please email or phone 0116 478 3390.

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