Whilst legislation to tackle tax avoidance is absolutely necessary, it must be transparent.
Healthcare contractors, current situation is akin to dealing with the ‘Mafia’; Don being HMRC, issuing instructions without considering the ramifications. NHS overseeing bodies being the consiglieres – making sure the don’s instructions are carried out, and keeping the mafioso (foot soldiers in provider bases in line). The foot soldiers then arm twist the poor suppliers (the recruiters) to play ball by undercutting the retailers (contractors). The ones paying the dearest price are the end clients (NHS users).
To be clear, I am not saying that they are a mafia- just giving an analogy of how things are playing out. We are getting reports of healthcare contractors been told that they will not be considered for contracts if they dare request an assessment as required by law. We even have in our possession letters from health boards still telling recruiters that ALL healthcare contractors are within IR35 and no representations will be considered.
The poor recruiters who try to do the right thing then lose out to the ones who are playing ball. All the while contractors have either left or reduced their work considerably. Absolute mess!
Head Legal – IHPA/LDU
First published on Linkedin – 23 September 2017