The Conservative party would review the IR35 rules ahead of their introduction to the private sector next year, Sajid Javid has vowed.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box programme, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said he wanted to ensure the proposed changes to off-payroll working rules, due to take effect in the private sector in April 2020, were “right to take forward”.
“We’ve already said that we’re on the side of self-employed people. We will be having a review and I think it makes sense to include IR35 in that review,” he said.
Javid also promised to look at improving self-employed workers’ access to pensions and mortgages.
The proposed review was absent from the party’s general election manifesto. Seb Maley, CEO at contractor insurance firm Qdos Contractor, said private sector organisations, contractors and recruitment agencies must continue to plan for the introduction of IR35 in April, unless they are told otherwise.
The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party also pledged to review IR35 in their manifestos.
Maley said: “Given the Liberal Democrats have been praised by contractors for promising a review already, you are left to wonder if this is why the Chancellor has now decided to discuss the legislation. IR35 was, as you might have noticed, absent from the Conservative Party manifesto.
“Nonetheless, a potential review into IR35 reform shows the government is listening at long last. However, any review must be genuine and not lip service simply to win the votes of independent workers, who could be crucial in the outcome of the general election.”
Last week HMRC unveiled a new version of its Check Employment Status for Tax tool. However, organisations that represent contractors were still concerned about its accuracy.