Is the track clear for off-payroll U-Turns

For those contractor companies which genuinely consider that they are operating outside the new off-payroll legislation, there is now an indication that some medium or large organisations are taking another look at earlier assessments which were made perhaps a little hastily.

Those contractors issued with status determination statements advising that they were inside the scope of the off-payroll working rules may now potentially see a shift in the assessment approach by some engagers who have realised that their overly-cautious assessments have left them unable to meet contract deadlines.

The new approach for some engagers appears to be to re-evaluate their existing approach to the off-payroll rules, and then implement a more effective, compliant and robust solution which will meet the requirements of the legislation without compromising on the ability to attract suitable contractors.

One such big-name engager is Network Rail, a public body, which, since 2017, has adopted the stance that all contractors are inside the scope of off-payroll working. However, recently they have been seen to have made a U-turn on their initial blanket ban on contractors working outside the scope of off-payroll working and there is no doubt that this move by such a large engager will encourage other organisations to follow suit.

This apparent softening of approach in the assessment of the off-payroll legislation on Personal Service Company (PSC) contractors may also potentially open up the possibility of PSC contractors being used in those industries where there are currently considered to be shortages in skilled labour.

The significant problems currently being experienced by the haulage industry are well documented, and off-payroll legislation has attracted some blame for the present lack of qualified HGV drivers. With similar problems likely in the healthcare sector where Government is promising significant investment to help deal with the huge backlogs of hospital treatments against a legacy of a lack of qualified staff, there will inevitably be the potential for those opportunities to be filled with PSC contractors.

If you are a medium or large end-client business wishing to engage individuals who provide their services through their own intermediary such as a PSC but are concerned over meeting the compliance requirements, then contact The Guild for a no-obligation discussion regarding your engagement processes.

Through our sister company, Guild Freelancing, we are also able to assist with the engagement of freelancers across all sectors.

Outsourcing your compliance is a serious undertaking – The Guild can help to protect you.

GuildHUB is an information resource, provided free of charge by The Guild, for accounting professionals and their clients.  If you wish to contact The Guild, please email

The content of this article is for guidance only and shall not constitute advice. Please seek independent advice or contact GuildHUB for information about its services.


Send us your question and we will be in touch

Scroll to top