IR35 contractor reforms – are you prepared for Right to Work checks?

The imminent arrival of the new 2021/22 financial year in April sees the introduction of IR35 changes – affecting thousands of businesses engaging contract workers, the recruiters who place them and of course contractors. Whilst much emphasis has been placed on the financial/tax issues arising, the issue of compliance with Right to Work legislation should not be overlooked.

Companies whose operations rely upon the engagement of contractors – many of whom have never needed to consider this legislation until now – will need to re-evaluate the employment status of their contractors and in many cases transition contractors from a self-employed status to worker or employee status.

Current Home Office Guidance on this question is as follows:

‘Even if you are not the direct employer of the workers involved in your business, there are compelling reasons why you should seek to know that your workers have a right to work. If illegal workers are removed from your business, it may disrupt your operations and result in reputational damage. There could be adverse impacts on your health and safety and safeguarding obligations, as well as the potential invalidation of your insurance if the identity and skill levels of your workers are not as claimed. Accordingly, you should check that your contractors conduct the correct right to work checks on people they employ. You may also wish to use this guidance when you use workers who have a genuine self employment status.’

This is clearly an important consideration for employers. By its very nature the contractor market is fast paced from a recruitment perspective and the requirement to undertake Right to Work checks may be challenging, if your organisation requires assistance tailored to your needs please contact advice@rightcheck.io