Monthly press roundup: February 2022

If a week is supposed to be a long time in politics, then a month should be a lifetime. February 2022, however, clearly missed the memo. Over the course of the past month, the media and the country as a whole has focused relentlessly on the same three issues: Partygate, the Ukraine crisis and the cost of living crisis.

For IPSE, we have been working tirelessly in cutting through these stories and reflecting the thoughts and concerns of our members and the wider self-employed community in the press. Here are three media highlights over the course of the past month:

Monthly Press Update


House of Lords follow up inquiry into IR35

After months of consultations and in-person hearings, the House of Lords Finance Bill Sub-committee finally published the main conclusions and recommendations from its follow-up inquiry into the 2021 off-payroll working reforms this month. The committee’s initial inquiry was highly critical of IR35. This latest inquiry noted a sharp increase in the use of umbrella companies since the changes to IR35 in the private sector in April 2021 as well as the flaws in the CEST tool, and the lack of consistency across tax and employment rights.

In a number of publications including The Register and Politics Home, we agreed with the committee’s focus on the flaws around HMRC’s CEST tool and the need for the government and HMRC to clarify employment status rules. We also argued that if action isn’t taken by the government to solve IR35, then self-employed workers will continue to be in a ‘worst-of-both-worlds’ scenario where they are taxed as employees yet denied the full suite of benefits associated with employment.”

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Delay National Insurance

Following the rapid increase in inflation and the widespread concerns around the cost of living among freelancers, earlier this month, IPSE called on the government to delay the planned increase in National Insurance. We argued in the I and a number of other publications that the increase to NI could put further financial strains on self-employed workers that have already struggled from the pandemic, supply chain shortages and Brexit.

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Adrian Chiles wins IR35 appeal against £1.7mn tax bill

Towards the end of the month, TV and radio presenter Adrian Chiles won a seven-year battle with HMRC over a £1.7 million IR35 tax bill for his broadcasting work. IPSE responded to the court verdict in the Financial Times by arguing that the Chiles ruling could cause problems for employers, who since April 2021 have become responsible for determining if the IR35 rules apply to freelancers they hire.

IPSE also argued that if being in business on your own account is now becoming a key tenet of how we’re determining IR35, how can a client make the determination? Without the full picture of a freelancers’ clients and business, how are clients supposed to know with any certainty, whether they’re doing the right thing or not?

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IR35 Hub

For 20 years, IPSE has been not only campaigning against IR35, but also advising contractors and the self-employed on how to navigate it. Learn more about IR35 and how it may affect you by visiting our IR35 Hub.


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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.