Like it or not, we live in interesting times


Natasha Makhijani



This year will be eventful, Brexit will mean Brexit on 31st January and IR35 comes into force for the private sector in April. Both are a source of angst and concern, but their ramifications are yet to be fully understood; will there be fewer or more opportunities?

Let’s start with Brexit. Good or bad, after four years, it’s happening, but what does it mean for the interim market? Two schools of thought argue that there will be opportunity within the inevitable disruption. Firstly, many companies will be keen to keep up the pretense that it’s business as usual. There are projects to be delivered and the work still needs to be done so there will be a definite need for interims.


Secondly, Brexit could well lead to an increase in the need for an interim workforce. In times of uncertainty, companies are unwilling to take on full time employees as uncertainty entails greater risk. Why make a full time hire when it is unclear what the situation will be in a year’s time? Until the effects are known it is far better to hire an interim specialist. At Oliver Sanderson it’s our opinion that the key to mitigating Brexit is being flexible so as to easily adapt to the pitfalls, hurdles and opportunities that will result.

IR35 though has the potential to have a greater negative impact not least because of the difficulty of ascertaining who falls within IR35 and who doesn’t. The complexity of employment case law means it’s almost impossible to build an assessment that provides every single contractor with a simple yes or no answer, and no one can definitively know the IR35 status of a contractor unless it is queried and tested by the HMRC. However, there are products available from IR35 specialists that can mitigate this risk by providing an insured solution that follows HMRC guidelines and are APSCo affiliates. Using these tools in conjunction with HMRC’s own CEST platform, providing they yielded the same Results, would show you are working in line with HRMC regulations.


There are many factors that once compiled will indicate whether contractors are defined as being inside or outside IR35, but there is the possibility that a contractor evaluation could fall somewhere between the two. In some industries pending IR35 regulations have led to a complete moratorium on the hiring of interims. But is this approach justified?

At Oliver Sanderson we’d argue otherwise. It is our opinion that there are substantial opportunities to be had for specialist recruiters. More companies will turn to specialist recruiters to ensure that the interims they need are fully compliant with IR35 regulations and by turn, interims will turn to specialists that help ensure that they are fully compliant and procure the best opportunities.

We are at the forefront of interim recruitment and it is our belief that the effects of IR35 can be mitigated. The key to this is being fully compliant with HMRC, understanding their parameters and working within them. Our knowledge of these leaves us ideally placed to help interim workers and firms alike, chart a course through its complexities and mitigate the impacts.


We work on both a project basis and with individual interims to ensure full compliance for both workers and firms. With the right skills in place, our dedication to adapting to the new regulations surrounding IR35 and an open minded and agile view of what the interim world can offer, there is no reason why the interim market can’t survive and live to tell the world.

The bottom line is that it’s a year of change, but as Darwin famously said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” What he didn’t say is that it’s good to have partners who know how to help you navigate the change.

Should you wish to speak to Oliver Sanderson about interim solutions

Contact Natasha Makhijani, CEO or Madison Godfrey, Interims Delivery Consultant

07514 800 090 or 0844 567 5627 or email [email protected]

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