The UK’s off-payroll working rules, commonly referred to as IR35, tell employers how to classify contractors and other workers. They’re already complex, but changes effective next year will make them even more difficult to understand and follow. We tell you what you need to do to prepare.
Last month Uber announced that it will pay up to $100 million to settle class action claims from US drivers claiming to be employees rather than self-employed contractors. The global ride-hailing service is fighting similar battles on a number of fronts, including a lawsuit in the UK from drivers seeking worker rights and compensation for lost earnings.This new world of contingent labour does not come without costs, and is in many ways seriously testing old labour codes that demarcate the self-employed from the employed. The distinction is an important one.
Bringing on a contractor may seem like a quick, easy fix to fill an immediate need, but it’s not without risk. Without proper considerations and detailed contractual agreements, you may find that, although you’ve classified your worker as a contractor, the local authorities in country have actually classified him or her as an employee for tax purposes.
How do you avoid this gray area of misclassification? Ensure that you are hiring only true contractors in the first place. Though each country will have specific employment tests, generally speaking, make sure to consider these guidelines for contractors vs. employees.
Last week’s webinar Know Before You Go: International Expansion and Permanent Establishment Risk encouraged a lot of discussion.There were several interesting questions from attendees for HSP's permanent establishment expert Justin Smith; here are some of the highlights, and answers.