IR35 legislation deferred until 2021

The government has postponed the introduction of the planned changes to the controversial IR35 legislation, which implements heavier tax burdens on freelancers and the self-employed. The new rules will now come into force on 6 April 2021, as opposed to the same date in 2020.

Speaking to the House of Commons on the evening of 17 March, chief secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay (pictured) said: “The government is postponing the reforms to the off-payroll working rules, IR35, from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021.”

Addressing the Commons, Barclay said the suspension is in response to the ongoing spread of Covid19 to help businesses and individuals. He said: “This is a deferral, not a cancellation, and the government remains committed to reintroducing this policy to ensure people working like employees but through their own limited company, pay broadly the same tax as those employed directly,” he added.

Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) said the government has done “the sensible thing” by delaying the changes to IR35 in the private sector.

In a statement released late Tuesday evening, Chamberlain said: “These changes have already undermined the incomes of many self-employed businesses across the UK. However, they would have done even more serious damage if they had gone ahead as planned.

“It is right and responsible to delay the changes to IR35 for at least a year during the coronavirus [Covid19] crisis, to reduce the strain and income loss for self-employed businesses.

However, Chamberlain has reaffirmed that more needs to be done to support self-employed businesses and has called for an emergency Income Protection Fund. He said: “This is a sensible step to limit the damage to self-employed businesses in this grave and unprecedented situation, but we also urge the government to do more. It must create an emergency Income Protection Fund to keep the UK’s crucial self-employed businesses afloat.”

Nuttall and Ferrovial to replace Carillion on HS2 work

BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman have been drafted in to strengthen the Kier and Eiffage joint venture preparing to start work on two civils packages worth nearly £2.5bn in the first phase of HS2.

C2 and C3 contracts will cover an 80km stretch of the central HS2 section
C2 and C3 contracts will cover an 80km stretch of the central HS2 section

The two firms will replace Carillion, which was the third partner in the original consortium to secure C2 and C3 contracts in the central section of the project.

Lot C2 will see the construction of the north portal Chiltern tunnels to Brackley, while Lot C3 is for the Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel south portal.

Since the two contracts were let the combined value has soared from £1.34bn to £2.48bn.

The new team of contractors will deliver an 80km stretch of HS2 through the countryside, from Wendover in the Chilterns to Leamington Spa.

The route includes 42 km of cuttings up to 30m deep and 27 km of embankments up to 13m high. The firms will also build 70 over-bridges, 15 viaducts, 15 under-bridges and three Green Tunnels with a total length of about 6.5km.

Bam Nuttall and Ferrovial were previously part of the Fusion consortium with Morgan Sindall, which unsuccessfully bid for the northern and southern sections of HS2 phase one.

HS2 avoided going out to public tender again, because EU procurement rules allow for replacement to be appointed in the event of insolvency.

Chiefs at HS2 also argued that re-procurement would also be unfair to surviving partners Kier and Eiffage.