Meet Sharni Humphrey-Carlin, Operations Manager for Qdos. Sharni takes this time to share her experience of helping clients prepare for IR35 reform and what can be expected of Qdos in the coming months.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how that has helped you carry out your role as Operations Manager here at Qdos?
I have a truly varied role here at Qdos, mainly focused upon delivering and overseeing our off-payroll services. Since joining the Qdos family in 2017, a main aim of mine has been to deliver business growth in line with reform in the public sector, and over my 4 years spent here, I have seen changes within the industry as they have been implemented every step of the way.
Before coming to work at Qdos I had a background in marketing and event management within the technology sector. This gave me the necessary skills to deliver such a varied role; from system development projects to scheduling service delivery to working directly with clients to ensure they receive the service delivery most suitable to them.
How has your work here at Qdos helped our clients?
I pride myself on putting our clients and their compliance requirements first. This means working together to create a system that works with their existing onboarding procedures and processes in order to deliver both a robust and comprehensive online compliance management platform as well as a bespoke project management approach from my team of account managers for each individual client.
More recently, we have been working on elements for Status Review to streamline and simplify the process even further. A recent goal we successfully achieved has been the implementation of an account management structure, introducing dedicated account managers and technical leads for all Status Review and Audit clients.
Something you may have noticed, if you use Status Review to manage your compliance, is the enhancements and new features such as the Support Hub, read-only access for supply chain third parties, and the overview of contractor insurances feature. These are features that simplify compliance that my team and I have been busy working on recently.
As our lead on IR35 compliance services, development, and delivery here at Qdos, can you provide some insight into how clients may be choosing to prepare for IR35 reform?
I believe that we are likely to see varying approaches to preparing for the coming reform, much as we did in the run-up to the original 2020 implementation date.
- We must first consider those intending to take blanket approaches or those that plan to stop engaging contractors altogether. Undoubtedly the approach that gives us most cause for concern. We strongly advise against this plan of action; it only serves to deprive businesses of the valuable key skills that contractors bring.
- Another approach we expect to see is businesses waiting until April to put adequate processes in place. If compliance processes are left until April, it may well be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The new rules will be in place from the 6th of April 2021. Leaving preparations until it is too late would be a big mistake. Not only does this cause panic within the industry, but it may also result in contractor walkouts due to loss of faith within organisations to treat them fairly. It should also be taken into consideration that this decision only serves to put ongoing projects at risk due to a potentially reduced workforce.
- The final and most beneficial reaction to the off-payroll reform is as follows. Properly prepare for reform, assess risks, and make fair determinations. If your wish is to pass through the reform implementation with as little disruption to your business as possible, this truly is your only option. For more information on how to prepare properly for IR35 reform, see here.
I truly hope that we see organisations completing preparations and starting to make IR35 determinations well in advance of the reform implementation. The deferral of IR35 reform has given organisations the benefit of an additional 12 months to focus on assessing IR35 related risks. The final few months leading up to April should be spent getting prepared for the coming changes if this has not been done already.
What can clients expect to see from Qdos in the run-up to the April 2021 reform date and thereafter?
It really will continue to be business as usual for us here at Qdos during the run-up to the reform implementation date. We will continue to deliver our usual standard of high-quality IR35 services to both our existing and new client base.
We intend to continue helping maintain the momentum of preparations made by our clients in the lead up to reform April 2020, prior to its delay. My team of account managers, as well as the IR35 consultancy team, are an integral part of this work. Together with our clients, we will work on project delivery, onboarding onto Status Review, and assessment management to ensure they have everything they need ahead of the reform. This will continue for all Status Review clients post-reform implementation as well.
You will see the continued development of our educational resources for all members of the contractual chain. Building upon our 30 years of experience in the industry, we believe that the more information we can provide our customers and the market in general, the better. We hope to continue to be a clear and trusted voice of guidance to anyone who needs us with the help of our articles, guides, and webinars.
Qdos are unrivalled when it comes to IR35 experience and expertise – developing the first and most robust solution to IR35 reform in 2017 which has supported over 2,200 organisations in both the public and private sectors, and assessing over 150,000 engagements for IR35 status since 2000 – making Qdos the most trusted opinion on IR35.