Most contractors have little confidence that the private sector is prepared for the IR35 changes which will come into force in April 2020.

The changes, commonly known as the off-payroll rules, were introduced into the public sector in 2017 and it was in the 2018 Budget that government made known its intention to extend the changes to the private sector.

The changes will mean that private companies who use contractors will become not only responsible for setting the IR35 status of these workers, but also liable. Recruitment agencies that are fee payers will also carry this liability.

Qdos, an IR35 advisor, has conducted a survey of contractors which showed that 30% believed that private companies would not be ready for the IR35 changes, 47% had little confidence that they would be ready, 11% were unsure and 12% believed that they would be ready.

The figures also showed that 61% of contractors thought that their direct clients would be best placed to determine IR35 status with only 39% believing that recruitment agencies would be in a better position.

A total of 36% of contractors said that the opportunity to be able to work outside IR35 would be the most important factor to them when considering a contract.

Seb Maley of Qdos said: “Thousands of contractors have been wrongly placed inside IR35 by public sector engagers as a direct result of reform in 2017. Understandably, this has led many independent workers to question whether the private sector will be in a position to administer IR35 accurately next year.”