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The Government confirm off-payroll working will not be delayed

Julian Ball

Julian Ball | Legal Director

Thursday 25th Feb, 2021

A question that we are asked a lot, by agencies and end clients, is whether we think the off-payroll legislation will be delayed again. Although there was relief last year when the off-payroll rules were postponed there was also frustration for the companies that had taken the time and trouble to get there processes right. This has led to a reluctance this time round to carry out work unless absolutely necessary when there are so many other issues to deal with.

HMRC have however consistently said that it believes that the new rules will be introduced and has been holding webinars with stakeholders to explain how it believes the rules will work.

A spokesperson for the Chancellor has confirmed that Mr Sunak has no plans to shelf or delay the reform. A position that was further supported in Parliament in January when Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds MP, asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer “whether his Department plans to delay the introduction of IR35 from April 2021.”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP replied:

“The Government has been clear that the reform of the off-payroll working rules will be introduced on 6 April 2021. The Government remains committed to introducing this policy in order to address the unfairness of non-compliance with the existing off-payroll working rules.
Organisations should continue to prepare for the implementation of the reform. Since the reform was delayed in April 2020, Parliament has passed legislation enacting the reform from April 2021."

Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP also went on to say: "The Government regularly engages with a range of stakeholders to inform policy making. The Government continues to engage with key stakeholders and affected organisations in relation to their preparations for the forthcoming reform.”

We expect that clients will now begin work on Status Determination Statements and expect our IR35 team’s workload to increase significantly over the coming weeks. 

If you require any help or advice then please contact your local CRM for more information or our agency support team on 0161 923 0201 or via email at

Related article - Is HMRC’s CEST tool fit for purpose in the run up to April 2021?

Since it's inception in 2017 the ‘Check Employment Status Tool’ (CEST) has faced fierce criticism as to its accuracy and completeness from industry, business users, workers and the accountancy profession. HMRC have confirmed that there have been no major updates to CEST since November 2019 and there are no plans to make any, any time soon. Given this we pose the question, is CEST fit for purpose?

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