HMRC is Jeopardising the NHS with IR35 Sep 1, 2018Views: 228
The controversies surrounding the public sector IR35 determinations has made it difficult for NHS in finding skilled professionals. According to an article published in the British Journal of Health Care Computing, Dr. Harpreed Sood who is the CIO of NHS England has said that the public sector health system faces a shortage of professionals who can drive the technological and informational change.
Due to the problem of recruiting highly skilled IT staff, the NHS has to rely on externally sourced services. The disruption in IT expertise has been the direct cause of the IR35 reform introduced in April 2017.
The need for IT staff for managing the transformational change was badly felt in May last year when the agency became a victim of a ransomware attack. It was found that most of the staff were not aware that clicking on email links or attachments from unknown sources results in a cyberattack. Also, many were not aware that not updating the antivirus can expose the system to online attacks.
To train the employees to face the threat due to cloud-based technologies, expert IT professionals are required. But the IR35 reform has caused problems due to which many IT contractors are now reluctant to offer their services to public sector bodies.
Disastrous Effects of the IR35 Reform
The IR35 has clearly failed to achieve the targets. Whilst it may have boosted Government revenues in the short term, the reform will likely result in a significant decline in the long term.
The tax reform had shifted the responsibility of determining contractor status from the individual contractor to the engaging recruiter or the end client. As a result, the engagers and employers are required to make tax payments.
Since the reforms were introduced without proper planning and consideration, end engagers were not provided sufficient time to prepare for the reform. Many have resorted to blanket assessment to save administrative burden involved in making their system IR35 compliant. A lot of them have implemented role-based assessments based on work by similar employees, which has resulted in the wrong determination of IR35.
NHS has also been forced to enforce blanket assessments to determine employment status. This was against the official guidelines and totally against the needs to assess job statement based on the contract. So, it’s not surprising that many have decided to leave the NHS. This has contributed to the skilled labour shortage problem faced by the public sector body that will undermine its goal of becoming a part of the future connected city.
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