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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence

The Finance Bill Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Bridges of Headley, is appointed annually by the Economic Affairs Committee to consider the draft Finance Bill. The Sub-Committee focuses on issues of tax administration, clarification, and simplification rather than on rates or incidence of tax.

In April 2020, the Sub-Committee published its report Off-payroll working: treating people fairly on the Government's proposals for moving responsibility for assessing compliance with its off-payroll working rules (IR35) from contractors to those who engage them.[1]

The Sub-Committee is now holding a short follow-up inquiry into the implementation of the off-payroll rules in the private sector, and how these rules are working in practice. 

The Sub-Committee invites interested individuals and organisations (particularly trade and similar representative bodies) to submit written evidence to this inquiry. It would be particularly interested to hear from bodies that represent businesses that engage workers to whom the off-payroll working rules might apply.

Written submissions are requested by Monday 15 November 2021.

Areas of interest

The Sub-Committee is interested in obtaining information about the experiences of engagers (the business the contractor ultimately works for) and contractors to date. On this occasion, it would be helpful if the experiences of individual contractors were provided by way of illustrative examples by representative bodies in their responses, rather than directly.

The Sub-Committee welcomes views on any of the following questions relating to the focus of the inquiry. There is no obligation to answer every question and the Sub-Committee recognises that respondents will not necessary be interested in all the areas of focus.

Off Payroll Working

  1. Has the recent extension of the off-payroll working rules to the private sector made it more difficult for engagers to hire people with the right skills and expertise? To what extent has its introduction contributed to job vacancies?
  2. For those engagers (and their advisers) who use the CEST (Check Employment for Tax Status) tool to assess employment status, how effective do you consider it to be? Do you have confidence in its results? If not, what further improvements need to be made to it?
  3. What changes have engagers had to make to apply the off-payroll rules to contractors, in terms of systems, personnel and training? By reference to your own experience, to what extent (if any) do you consider that compliance costs have increased because of the changes?
  4. How well has HMRC supported engagers, contractors, and their advisers with the implementation of the new rules and is any further or different type of assistance needed?
  5. To what extent has the introduction of the new rules generated disputes between engagers and contractors concerning the status of contractors vis à vis the rules and how successfully or otherwise have these been resolved?
  6. What behavioural effects have resulted from the introduction of the new rules in the private sector in terms of the arrangements adopted in hiring contractors?
  7. The Government is proposing a new employment body with powers to enforce employment rights, including for those engaged by agencies and umbrella companies. How effective do you think such a body will be in ensuring workers, particularly the lower paid, are treated fairly?
  8. How successful will the draft Finance Bill proposals for earlier publication of information about promoters and avoidance schemes be in protecting individuals from being drawn into such schemes?

Written responses are requested by Monday 15 November 2021.

[1] Finance Bill Sub-Committee, Off-payroll working: treating people fairly, (1 Report, Session 2019-20, HL Paper 50)

Guidance for submissions

If you have difficulty submitting evidence online, please contact

The deadline for written evidence is Monday 15 November 2021.

Submissions should be short, concise and of no more than six pages. Submissions of between four and six pages should include a one-page summary. Paragraphs should be numbered. Submissions should be dated and should state clearly whether the submission is made in a personal capacity or on behalf of an organisation.

All submissions made through the written submission form will be acknowledged automatically by email. Respondents do not have to address every question in the call for evidence. Submissions which have been published previously will not be accepted as evidence.

Submissions become the property of the Sub-Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Evidence may be published by the Sub-Committee at any stage; when it is so published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege.

Respondents will be contacted to confirm whether their submission has been accepted as evidence; at this point they may publicise or publish their evidence themselves. In doing so they must indicate that it was prepared for the Sub-Committee; please be aware that publication or re-publication of evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.

Respondents should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law. If respondents anticipate such issues arising, please discuss with the clerk of the Sub-Committee how this might affect the submission.

Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication but will be retained by the House of Lords Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the sub- committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public and broadcast online; transcripts are also taken and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed.

Substantive communications to the Sub-Committee about the inquiry should be addressed to the clerk of the Sub-Committee, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Sub-Committee.

This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups who may not have received a copy directly.

Diversity comes in many forms, and hearing a range of different perspectives means that select committees are better informed and can scrutinise public policy and legislation more effectively. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. The Sub-Committee encourages anyone with experience or expertise of this issue to share their views, in the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome.

Progress of the inquiry may be followed at

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Off-payroll working: follow-up Inquiry