With the recent IR35 changes, the ASPCo say that the HMRC and IFF research looking into the impact of off-payroll working reforms on employment companies, came too late.
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) also highlighted employee concerns about the reliability of the CEST tool.
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel for APSCo, commented, “The research revealed a number of insights that were to be expected, with some recruitment firms already noting a drop in contractor numbers and client demand for PSC contractors. It is reassuring to see, though, that most staffing companies have been preparing ahead of the deadline.
“It is, however, disappointing that this research has come to light so late in the day, [with the new deadline only two weeks away], leaving little time for action from HMRC. In particular, the point raised by those surveyed that greater education of clients and contractors is vital is a message that APSCo has vocalised in the past, but despite some efforts by HMRC, they struggle to reach their audience and this is a significant problem in regard to “disguised remuneration” as well as the off payroll rules themselves. While it’s nice to see that this sentiment is echoed by those involved in the research, with preparations for off-payroll now finalised or in the process of being completed, it is too late to make any meaningful changes.”