Network Rail is the first organisation affected by reforms to off-payroll rules to declare all its contractors as being outside IR35, it has been reported.

Contractor UK said nearly 150 roles, from litter pickers to technical officers, are affected by the determination, which Network Rail apparently made individually and, crucially, before a HRMC tool designed to help organisations work out IR35 status had been changed.

“Re-running the tool today might not return the same results,” Contractor UK noted.

It quoted Network Rail in a note outlining the decision to staff as saying: “As the HMRC tool is being continually reviewed…the current determination could change at any time.

“If the tool or the [HMRC] guidance surrounding the tool changes, Network Rail will rerun the tool on the below roles and send a new determination out.”

However, Contractor UK said that a re-run of the exercise has not thought to have happened.

“[Clients] just didn’t have the time [yet],” an IR35 expert told the website.

“Network Rail wanted to stop folks voting with their feet… [but] the tool has changed, so it should be doing it all again."

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