Recruiters are advertising roles 'outside IR35'

Recruiters are starting to advertise positions as “outside IR35” as “chaos and confusion” abounds following recent tax law changes and crucial public institutions struggling to recruit staff.

Whilst the NHS is losing highly-skilled staff, who are being lured to the higher-paying private sector, recruiters are now utilising anti-IR35 feeling to advertise for vacancies.

One recruiter advert even sold a job to prospective candidates by asking, as part of its pitch: “Want to avoid IR35?”

IR35, which HMRC claimed would ‘fill-in’ a £400million tax black hole and bring contractor tax in line with that of PAYE workers, has caused confusion amongst recruiters and contractors alike.

Now, institutions, such as the NHS, are struggling to fill roles as contractor recruitment dries up and talent heads to the private sector, where the tax law changes haven’t yet taken effect.

Contractor Calculator CEO Dave Chaplin has noticed that recruitment patterns are changing as a result of IR35, highlighting how it is exacerbating an already damaging talent shortage.

Chaplin said: “We’ve seen this happen across various sectors, but in the healthcare industry it has the potential to cause some serious damage.”

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) February report found the health sector is one of many that is failing to fill its permanent and temporary vacancies.

However, the blame can’t be laid solely at the door of IR35 – with Brexit, political and economic uncertainty affecting the job market.

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green explained: “Filling vacancies is becoming even more difficult. Evidence that fewer EU nationals are moving to the UK to work is another concern.

“Sectors like health care and hospitality are heavily dependent on EU workers to provide the services the public needs. All of this amounts to more pressure on business.”

However, public sector contractor recruiters will have their work cut out to source staff willing to take-on non-private work after IR35 changes.

Recruiters on Jobs4Medical can advertise hourly rates of £80-90 for locum (contractor) doctors whilst they can only offer up to £65-per-hour for NHS equivalents.

As a result, the recruitment industry is having to offer IR35 advice to candidates – with contractor’s having to consider that they could lose 20% of their take-home pay if caught by IR35.

Chaplin added: “As it stands the public sector is suffering as a result of these ill-thought out measures. The IR35 reforms are turning into a tax on the NHS.” 

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