With only one month until IR35 reforms begin, what does it mean for contracting and interim roles?

Jonny Waugh, Associate Partner, Executive Interim at MM Search

Much has been said about the private sector reform of IR35 (the tax rules that apply if you work for a client through an intermediary) the reform was initially expected to come into place in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic. There had been speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak would announce a change to IR35 reforms in last week’s Spring Budget – alas he did not, so IR35 is firmly still on the agenda and is due to come into force in April 2021.

With only one month until IR35 reforms begin, what does it mean for the contracting and interim market and how can we at MM Search support those in the midst of it all?

Some say it will have a negative impact on the interim industry, at MM Search we don’t agree. It might be a bumpy road ahead initially during this transition period to IR35 and while any ambiguity over employment status is rectified, we don’t think it will see the interim and contract market wane long-term – interim will evolve into something much stronger.

Why do we think so? Because many companies simply cannot do without those high-level external contractors who provide that senior level of expertise which is often only required on a short-term basis. The past 12 months have proved the power of the interim and contract working more than ever which is growing at a fast pace. Senior professionals on an interim contract can help businesses lay the foundation of change while also bringing something new and positively challenging the status quo. Interims bring the firepower to see a business through to the next stage and the expertise to drive it forward in the short-term with a long-term viewpoint.

There are a host of reasons why we are witnessing this boom …from the fallout from Covid, advances in technology, the increase in work-life balance and home-based working plus the ever-present mounting pressures on businesses to reduce costs and increase performance. These are all factors that have redefined the interim management function. Growth is also being driven from both sides; the candidate demand for flexible short-term opportunities and from businesses looking to tap into expertise on an immediate basis.

MM Search supports businesses in their search for high-level contractors and interim positions, we scour the market and tap into our cohort of tried and tested senior executives who are much more than a safe pair of hands, they bring new viewpoints opportunities and instant support. We find the right people that will fit an organisation instantly. We are working with a mix of businesses who are seeing the benefits an interim can bring to their organisation, such as Windhoist, Zotefoams, KCA Deutag and Gordon Timber.