Contractors believe that recruitment agencies have the means to manage any impacts made by IR35 switching to affect both public and private bodies, according to new research.

A survey conducted by Qdos Contractor found that the majority of contractors believe that private sector changes could be managed should Phillip Hammond announce a private sector debut for IR35 tax rules.

Of the 652 contractors Qdos polled, 63 per cent believe that private sector changes will be manageable. Meanwhile, 61 per cent say that despite recent tax changes – including reform in the public sector – they expect the contracting and freelancing workforce to continue to grow.

This stands in contrast to previous research carried out by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), which indicated that 78 per cent of recruiters believe that extending IR35 to the private sector would impact the UK’s ability to source contractors.

Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor’s CEO, said that contractors should remain calm and that recruitment agencies had the means to make any transition “manageable”, using the public sector as a “roadmap” how private sector reforms would play out.

He added: ““Preparation is key, and recruitment agencies must now take the initiative by opening discussions with the contractors they place, and begin to think about how they will contribute to well-informed IR35 decisions.

“The cost of blanket and inaccurate IR35 decisions in the sector would ultimately be huge to agencies and the UK’s millions of private sector companies.”

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