Recent research has revealed that the rumours surrounding possible reform of IR35 in the private sector are amongst contractors’ biggest concerns.

In April, there were changes to IR35 in the public sector, and rumours are now circulating about the future of IR35 in the private sector, which is causing concern to many contractors.

The survey, which was conducted by Qdos Contractor, revealed that 48 per cent of contractors listed the rumours about IR35 as their number one concern, with 18 per cent being more concerned about competition for contracts; 17 per cent find the lack of support for the self-employed more concerning; 10 per cent said that they were still most concerned by the changes in public sector IR35; and 7 per cent listed other concerns such as declining rates, Brexit and issues associated with scaling up a business.

When asked whether they would still consider working on a self-employed basis if the rumours about reform of IR35 in the private sector proved to be true, the largest percentage (36 per cent) said that they would continue to be self-employed. However, 33 per cent said that they would consider employment, 19 per cent said that they would consider trying a different career to contracting, and 12 per cent said that they would look at other options such as emigrating or early retirement.

Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley said: “While murmurs surrounding any changes to private sector IR35 remain rumours at this stage, we urge the Government to learn from previous mistakes and quickly end any confusion and uncertainty on the matter. One third of contractors surveyed revealed they would consider employment if private sector IR35 reform is enforced. This sends a clear, strong signal to Government that reform to private sector IR35 should be avoided.”