Any regular visitor to the Larsen Howie site will have seen fairly regular mention of the controversial reforms around IR35 in the public sector.
I won’t bore you with the specifics as you’ll likely know them off by heart by now. But what you might not know is that the contractor community is starting to fight back.
One of the most concrete examples of this is coming from a contractor who runs his own personal service company (PSC).
Mike Gibson, whose PSC goes by the name of Ethical Consulting, has started putting together a campaign aimed at legally challenging the legislation around IR35 in the public sector, which was introduced this April.
Gibson is aiming to crowdfund in the region of £360,000 to commence legal proceedings and begin a court battle against the framework set out by the government.
However, Gibson is not the first to look to counter the legislation. Last month a group of locums won their case against a blanket ban on the use of PSCs in the NHS,
He posted on LinkedIn a number of reasons why he is taking such action and aiming to garner support for his cause from the wider contracting sector.
“It cannot be fair that public sector organisations are being compelled to pay more for exactly the same service as private sector organisations,” Gibson writes. “We do know how to construct contracts that keep us outside of IR35! - but we don't have to do that with private sector clients - so why should public sector be made to jump through hoops that private sector doesn't. It is unfair and discriminatory.”
Gibson goes onto highlight a perceived ignorance from many regarding the true nature of contracting, and the reality of working without paid holiday, sickness or other full-worker benefits.
He also points to the number of contractors who are now struggling to make ends meet following the IR35 reforms in the public sector, describing a ‘wall of unfairness’.
Gibson is asking for pledges of £20 a month to be made, and if enough support is given, a fighting fund will be set up. Gibson is also aiming to utilise the skills of Michael Paulin, who helped the aforementioned group of locums win their case.
If you would like to pledge to this cause, Mike Gibson can be reached on [email protected].