Qdos Broker & Underwriting Services Limited trading as Qdos Contractor
Tel: 0116 269 0999
- 2022 Innovation
Qdos Contractor is a multi-award-winning tax and compliance specialist with over three decades of experience in supporting freelancers and contractors and, more recently, recruitment agencies and the businesses engaging these workers.
This is the second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category award Qdos Contractor has won in five years. This year, the Leicestershirebased insurance broker was recognised for its work in helping thousands of businesses navigate complex reform to the IR35 tax legislation, which posed considerable challenges to the UK’s flexible labour market – an industry worth £316bn annually to the economy.
The 2022 award was for Qdos’ Status Review facility: a comprehensive compliance solution built to ensure businesses can comply with IR35 reform in both the public and private sectors.
What is IR35?
IR35 was introduced in 2000 with the intention of stopping contract workers operating as ‘disguised employees’ and therefore avoiding paying employment taxes. If a contractor is engaged ‘outside IR35’, the contractor is deemed to be operating on a genuinely self-employed basis when providing their services to the client. As a result, the contractor is able to enjoy the benefits that come with running their own business. In contrast, ‘inside IR35’ and the engagement is understood to reflect employment, which means the contractor is taxed under the PAYE system – just like an employee.
Prior to the introduction of IR35 reform (2017 in the public sector and 2021 in the private sector), contractors determined their own IR35 status and were also liable for non-compliance.
About IR35 reform
IR35 reform has seen all medium and large organisations (and public sector bodies) handed the task of assessing the IR35 status of contract workers they engage.
As part of the reform, fee-paying parties (typically recruitment agencies) in the supply chain were transferred the liability, meaning they will be held financially accountable for noncompliance, including the wrongful assessment of IR35 status.
The impact of Qdos Status Review
Recognising the threat that IR35 reform posed not only to contractors (who were fearful of being wrongly classed inside IR35 by their clients), but recruitment agencies and end-clients, Qdos Contractor designed and were the first to market with an end-to-end compliance management solution.
Status Review ensures businesses are able to determine notoriously complex IR35 status fairly and in accordance with the law – achieved through manual IR35 assessments carried out by an IR35 specialist, not an automated tool. Then, should a contractor be deemed outside IR35, a tax liability insurance policy is provided to further mitigate the potential liabilities.
As part of Status Review’s wider offering, our experts have provided over 100 in-depth IR35 audits to organisations, alongside ongoing consultancy services, regular workshops, training and additional support.
Status Review now supports nearly 3,000 organisations across 15 industry sectors, including FTSE 250 businesses, with their compliance and insurance requirements.
Through the solution, Qdos Contractor has carried out over 32,000 independent, expert IR35 contract reviews, ensuring contractors have a fair and accurate assessment of their employment status – this was a major concern to the vast majority of contractors prior to the arrival of IR35 reform.
The result of this approach has meant that 86% of contractors whose IR35 status has been assessed via Status Review have been engaged outside IR35 – a scenario that allows all parties to enjoy the cost and flexibility benefits offered by contract work.