Never mind being beach body ready – are you IR35 ready?
Gender pay gap reporting. GDPR. Every so often businesses are faced with changes in legislation which have particular impact on the way they operate.
And, cynics will say, the risk from these laws is over exaggerated by those seeking to cash in on fear. They might have a point!
But the latest risk to employers – and one which certainly does need addressing – is IR35.
What is IR35 and why is it of interest to internal communicators?
Intermediaries Legislation (as known as IR35), is a set of tax rules set by HMRC aimed at tackling tax avoidance by those masking an employer/employee relationship between companies and contractors.
From April 2020, any business hiring contractors must complete an IR35 assessment; do this wrongly and it’s not only the risk of a fine. The reputational damage of being named and shamed could do immense harm to their reputation.
For larger organisations who hire thousands of contractors, the bill for nonconformity could be massive; they also face logistical problems in hiring the right people to carry out their day to day business.
Smaller businesses, too, may face financial penalties and an impact on their HR resourcing.
The legislation does, however, offer an opportunity for IC professionals to use their communication skills and cement their position as business partners.
By making their organisations aware of the issue – and working with stakeholders to minimise the risks – IC teams can ensure the arrival of IR35 is not as big a deal as it otherwise might be.
A well planned and executed comms campaign – aimed at making the important interesting – can help to make this happen.
At Sequel, we’ve prepared a guide for communicators to share with colleagues in HR, procurement and at a senior level, to ensure organisations are prepared.
And with the legislation less than a year away, there’s no time like the present to act.