Treasury Minister Jesse Norman has acknowledged that he doesn’t know about blanket IR35 assessments. In response to questions in the House of Commons regarding Aprils’ IR35 reform, he had stated that he has no knowledge about blanket assessments of off-payroll Personal Service Company (PSC) contractors.

The financial secretary of the Treasury admitted that he was unaware that PSCs were being forced into contracts that would tax them without receiving employment rights.

Many companies have carried out — and are still conducting — blanket IR35 assessments rather than assessing the working relationship of individual contractors. Ignorance of Mr. Norman regarding the matter is shameful since HMT’s legislation recommends ‘reasonable care’ in assessing IR35 status.

Firms ‘Blanketing’ for IR35 Compliance

Firms are using different blanketing techniques in order to conform to the latest IR35 legislation.

Companies may blanket ‘inside IR35’ whereby they consider all contractors to be IR-35 caught. Some companies blanket ‘ban’ where clients stop engagement with all PSCs across their operations.

A lot of companies claim to be assessing contractors on a case-by-case basis. But they actually consider all contractors to be inside IR35 or blanket ban by ceasing any dealings with them.

Despite clear evidence of firms carrying out blanketing techniques, Mr. Norman seems to be ignorant of the practice.

The Treasury minister did acknowledge that firms are recognising disguised employment. But he did not connect it to blanketing that is often related.

Contractors Astonished at Treasury Minister’s Ignorance

Contractors and advisors were astonished at the comments of Mr. Norman. Experts say that UK competitiveness will be destroyed with the death of the contracting model.

One limited liability company contractor said that the Treasury Minister’s comments show how government ministers are out of touch with reality.