Reply to post: Re: Parental rights?

Any promises to extend rights of self-employed might win an election, hint Brit freelancer orgs

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Parental rights?

That was my first thought. Then I realised what they were actually getting at. It's aimed at clients who are, or will be, putting or declaring their contractors as being inside IR35. Providing maternity/paternity benefits is one of the expenses of being an employer. You can duck that by taking on self-employed staff. The self-employed, if they're running their businesses correctly, make provision for such things.

For a regular employer the costs of providing this will affect profits but that in turn will reduce corporation tax liability because corporation tax is paid on profit, not turnover.

The same thing applies to the self-employed working outside IR35; the business can build up a reserve and continue to pay a salary during leave. This will result in a refund of previous corporation tax although, of course, income tax and NI will continue to be paid. In effect the offset against corporation tax is time shifted between the years when the reserve is being built and those when it's being used.

If, however, the client takes on a freelancer and dumps them into IR35 the payments are taxed as income tax and there's no corporation tax to refund. In short the IR35 victim is in a worse position than an employee (no income during leave) and in a worse position than an employer or outside-IR35 contractor (no corporation tax offset). The advantage to the engager is that the costs of providing such leave is shifted entirely to the freelancer.

And, if you look closely, HMRC also profits - they don't have to make any allowances against corporation tax.

The proposition negates this advantage to the employer and HMRC.

If you're an existing employee should you care? Well, what if your employer is sufficiently unscrupulous, especially if post-Brexit changes to employment law allow it, to tell you you're redundant but if you want you can come back at the same rates as a freelancer in IR35?

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