Labour to scrap IR35 private sector reform! Or maybe not!

We’ve just read this, from Contractor UK, but can find no other confirmation yet – if it’s true that will be a relief to many Contractors/Businesses in the Private Sector, who are dreading the IR35 reforms due in April 2020.  You can read our article about the current state of play for the IR35 Reform here. Labour

Labour in surprise pledge to scrap IR35 reform from April 2020

The article says:

Labour has both stunned and elated IPSE’s self-employed hustings with a surprise pledge to entirely abandon IR35 reform in the private sector.

Made by the party’s Bill Esterson, his pledge on Monday night to the contractor group’s event means that Labour would “absolutely” scrap the changes to IR35 from April.

Asked by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) about IR35 reform, the Labour MP said: “It should never have been implemented in one go.

“We absolutely can’t see it rolled out into the private sector the way things are at the moment.”

Pressed whether that means a Jeremy Corbyn-led government would axe the April 2020 proposals, Mr Esterson said it did, confirming their removal to now be official Labour policy.

Asked by ContractorUK why Labour’s manifesto made no mention of this plan to tear up the draft IR35 legislation, an IPSE spokesman last night said that the party was yet to clarify the omission.

The IPSE spokesman also said that Mr Esterson, the Labour MP for Sefton Central, made no commitment about the already in-force public sector IR35 changes….  but …. suggested a review of the April 2017 framework ought to be run.

“In the public sector, it [IR35 reform] has been implemented right across the board – causing real problems for self-employed professionals who need to get contracts. Causing real problems for the public sector as well.

“We are seeing a reduction in the availability of skilled workers in the health service and elsewhere as a result,” Mr Esterson said, adding – crucially. “There needs to be a fundamental review.”


Update:

However, it has now been reported that on Friday 6th December the shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, on Radio 5 Live, twice said her party would merely “look at” the 2020 reform, so it could seek a “fairer” replacement.

She was asked to give “absolute clarity” on Labour’s stance on the reform, in light of her colleague Bill Esterson deleting Tweets which said stopping the April commencement of IR35 in the private sector was party policy.

In her interview on the radio, Ms Long-Bailey would only say: “That system is certainly not fair and it’s causing a lot of anguish to those who are self-employed.”  She added “What we’re saying is we need to consult on a system that’s fairer for those businesses but we don’t think IR35 is appropriate”.

The review of 2020’s off-payroll change is not in Labour’s manifesto or its ‘20 pledges for Small Businesses.’

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