When is a review not a review? The start of the year has seen the new Conservative government seek to make good on its promise to look again at IR35, lining up a series of round table discussions on the subject. And yet the idea of actually changing the legislation is not on the table. Instead, Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury has said: “The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.”

To call this disappointing is an understatement. For years the recruitment industry and voices from across the wider world of employment have spoken out against these changes, advising how they will damage the flexible workforce and the ability of employers to get the talent they need, when they need it. We have already seen how the changes have damaged the public sector and yet again it seems that the government seems determined not to listen and press ahead regardless.

It’s a sobering start to a challenging but hugely promising new year. If nothing else there are signs that the employment market is responding to the certainty provided by the new government and whatever the outcome of IR35, Brexit and more, the recruitment industry will continue to demonstrate its resilience and value to the economy of this country and internationally.

The Global Recruiter

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