New data has shown that the public sector could stand to lose nearly 10,000 highly skilled digital workers as a result of the Government's plans to reform IR35, which, if passed, could take effect from April next year.

As many as 54 per cent of these skilled workers, who are limited company contractors, would likely quit their jobs if the IR35 changes go ahead, the leaked Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS), showed.

The public sector could lose 9,720 digital workers, more than half of the 18,000 or so workers there are estimated to be by the DTS.

Chris Bryce from the Association of Independent Professionals the Self-Employed (IPSE), said: "The public sector has never needed self-employed contractors more, they supply vital specialist skills on a flexible basis.

“Yet the Government is considering bringing in a measure that will drive these specialists out. This policy must be urgently stopped," he added.

These figures come shortly after data released by accounting firm, Deloitte, which showed that the Government is already said to be facing a civil service staff shortage of around 30,000 in order to deal with the Brexit vote.

"Government departments are working on over 500 Brexit-related projects. The last thing we need is to put our negotiations to leave the EU at risk due to skills shortages in key areas," Mr Bryce went on to say.

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