In the face of uncertainty, the UK labour market has evolved in a clear, consistent direction. In August 2019, an analysis of permanent placements revealed it's sharpest decline in three years.
As a counterbalance, self-employment figures have risen from 3.3 million people just after the turn of the millennium to 4.8 million in 2017 - representing an additional 3.1% of the country's total labour workforce that is no longer directly employed. For the last decade, and even longer, private sector organisations have seen contracting as a low-risk way of benefiting from specialist skills without the overheads of permanent recruitment, or as a workaround for a shortage of full-time talent.
However, with the upcoming IR35 legislation changes, that risk profile is changing. Whereas it was previously the contractor's responsibility to determine their own IR35 status, from April 2020, private sector organisations will be responsible for carrying out IR35 assessments for their contingent workers.
Similar changes were introduced in the public sector in 2017, and based on this, we've outlined the key ways we expect organisations to respond. From skills shortages to blanket bans, we've highlighted some of the most important factors that will impact resource demand following IR35.