Claire Lauder gives an update on how Boyden have been preparing for the looming IR35 reform

By Claire Lauder
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Much ado about nothing.

Sigh no more, interim's, sigh no more.

I may not have said this a year ago as we were all grappling with what IR35 reform really meant for the sector. But after spending the best part of twelve months working with Qdos an external independent IR35 specialist, as a team we are much less concerned about the looming changes.

Perhaps I can start with what Boyden UK have done to prepare ourselves.


It is important to remember that the financial risk sits with the fee payer, which is often us as the provider. So from a client point of view, using a provider reduces client risk.

Once the QDOS assessments have been carried out on both the client and interim side, Qdos will indemnify the decision, and any future challenge from HMRC will be dealt with by Qdos.

Now the biggest challenge for the interim community, which I deem to be us providers and the interim managers, is the education of many of our clients. Boyden are in a privileged position in that we tend to work with decision makers directly, so we are able to advise on the difference between hiring and managing an employee verses hiring a provider of services. They are different and it is important we all play a part in ensuring that this is continually communicated. 

The organisations that have given blanket assessments are usually those organisations that outsource their recruitment process to an administrative transactional partner. Blanket assessments are wrong, and every role should be assessed on a case by case basis. Luckily Boyden works with few of these types of clients.

What would I do if I was an interim?

Accept that some roles will fall inside IR35 and some will fall outside. You can’t make yourself outside IR35 as it is about the project requirements and not you as an individual.

Take Qdos up on their offer of a free consultation to work out what your inside IR35 rate is? It is much better to know the answer to this question as it will undoubtedly be a more frequently asked question.

And finally, to the interim manager who I shall nickname Shakespeare, who asked…..

“Why, what's the matter,

That you have such a February face,

So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”

To which I replied…

Thank you for your message of “Happy Birthday – how do you think IR35 reforms are going to affect the sector?”

If there was one topic which I was not going to talk about on my Birthday, it was IR35, swiftly followed by Brexit. A good example of how subjects can be both very important and insanely boring at the same time. But now that my Birthday has passed, I will happily pick up the IR35 conversation again and of course I jest, a huge thank you to all those that took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday.

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