ICAS responds to BEIS consultation: “Post-pandemic economic growth: UK labour markets”
Justine Riccomini runs through the main aspects of the ICAS response to the BEIS consultation on post-pandemic economic growth: UK labour markets.
A question of status
On 27 May 2022, the UK Parliament issued a consultation through BEIS entitled “Post-pandemic economic growth: UK labour markets” #2646” which required a response by 8 July 2022. ICAS reserved its comments to certain questions within the section entitled: “Employment status and modern working practices five years on from the Taylor Review”.
It was considered necessary by the ICAS Tax Board to respond to this section of the consultation because of the ongoing debate through the courts, between taxpayers, HMRC, BEIS, HM Treasury, business leaders and representative bodies throughout the UK.
The question which has been rumbling on for a number of decades now is how to tackle employment status to make it less complex, fairer and capable of being complied with. The position was summed up rather neatly at the Court of Appeal by judge Sir David Richards, who stated at paragraph 56 of the recent Atholl House case decision: “It might be supposed that, and it would certainly be desirable if, there were one clear test or approach to determining whether a person was an employee”.
Indeed, ICAS recently highlighted the ongoing complexity of employment status decisions in an article which asked whether it should take four court hearings to decide status. It would appear the system is at breaking point.
Readers will note that The UK Government issued its response to the 2018 employment status consultation by HM Treasury, BEIS and HMRC in July 2022. The report does not propose any changes in the immediate term and as such, the ICAS response to the BEIS consultation noted above is as important as ever, to emphasise that a solution must be found. This will not be an easy thing to do but the employment status situation clearly cannot continue as it stands.