back to article Campaigners call on minister to secure funding to protect UK workers' rights

Campaigners have urged the British government to fully fund a new single enforcement body (SEB) to protect workers' rights, including those who use unregulated umbrella companies. In an open letter to Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    The reforms are part of the government's crackdown on so-called disguised employment, where workers behave as employees but avoid paying regular income tax and national income contributions by billing for their services through personal service companies, which are taxed at lower corporate rates.

    This statement is entirely wrong. Only difference is that in case of out of scope contract, the client does not have to pay Employer's NI (which is correct, because they are not an employer).

    The whole reform isn't about tax avoidance, but it was intended to remove competition of independent contractors that big consultancies (and party donors) were upset about.

    That's why government shuts any conversation about it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will this stop "Off Shoring"

    Off shoring, takes jobs away from people in UK

    Is this just another modern day slavery method?

    We also need to look at agency workers or fixed term contracts, they don't have the same rights as Employees even though they have been at the company longer than 2 years. No Sick pay, no holidays and having to accrue days and no redundancy or furlough when company changes strategy. Having to jump the hoops every year when a new contract is up for renewal. Nobody fights your corner, no union support and no help from Industrial tribunal.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Will this stop "Off Shoring"

      When contract is in scope, the business pays both employer and employees taxes on revenue, without having benefits of neither.

      The clear intent is to prevent people from starting and running service based business. Big corporations have problems with hiring, so it is hard not to see that another hidden aspect of those changes is to force those ambitious people into employees market and make them work for those corporations. If you can't run your own business then what else can you do to put food on your table? It's a disgrace and shame that most journalists don't see that - they don't look beyond the surface.

  3. Bheleu

    IR35 was 'invented' by a tax bully infamous for his stealth taxes looking to tax a group of people who were not his core supporters, he did'nt even have the courage to announce it in his budget speech. I am talking about Gordon Brown. The Tories recent changes have only made things even more unfair and complex.

    Your taxed as if your a employee, yet you receive none of the benefits of being an employee, its as per normal from government, its just take take take and give nothing in return

    If you want to tax a person fine, but make sure that they get all benefits as well

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      But you are also your own employer, you effectively pay employer taxes as well, but you cannot operate like an employer - e.g. you cannot offset legitimate business cost against tax.

      Jesse Norman said:

      “Those who wish to challenge their employment status for rights can take their case to an employment tribunal, regardless of their tax status.”

      This means if you are unhappy about your lack of employment rights, you can sue your own company!

      The way to tell small businesses to go f themselves.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        If the tax man says your employer is the end-user that's benefiting from your work then they're the people to take to tribunal. Let them argue with HMRC whether they owe you pension payments, sick pay and four weeks annual paid time off.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          I think they explicitly stated that it will be your own company to take to employment tribunal, which is crazy.

          In-scope contract will specifically say that the relationship is not of employment nature, that you are not an employee of the client and do not intend to be one and that there is no mutuality of obligation.

  4. Cederic Silver badge


    I think "umbrella companies which have seen a surge in popularity" is an interesting interpretation. They've seen a surge in usage because 'use an umbrella if you want work'.

    That doesn't make them popular. If anything, quite the opposite.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Popular?

      You don't need an umbrella to work in-scope though. You can also use a fee payer (which some umbrellas also offer).

      However, for some reason this is quite an unknown fact...

    2. Rol

      Re: Popular?

      My job was advertised with an hourly rate, that although it wasn't great, was enough to keep me alive.

      On getting the job, the agency pointed me towards the umbrella company that was going to sort out my wages.

      It was a bit of a shock when I read my first payslip, to discover the advertised hourly rate was made up with my holiday pay being paid by the hour.

      I am now earning less today while working as a stressed out, keyboard jockey and general public punching bag, for the council than I did 15 years ago as a stress free, temp, white van man.

      As planned, Brexit is only working for the people who wanted the freedom to fuck everyone else, and not be answerable to a bureaucracy they didn't go to school with.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Popular?

        Of course, white van jobs are still available, and indeed, there's less competition now in the current market.

        I do however fail to see the relevance of Brexit, given IR35 predates it by some years.

  5. Adrian 4

    " .. by billing for their services through personal service companies, which are taxed at lower corporate rates."

    So why not make the corporate rates the same as personal rates ?

    End of problem.,

    Or could it be that the corporates don't like that idea, and the conservatives roll over and play dead?

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