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  1. #1

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    Default Outside IR35 PS contract

    Long-time reader of CUK, long-time contractor (approx 15 years), first time poster.

    For background - up until the end of last year, all my contracts were in the private sector. I'm just finishing my first 3 month Public sector contract (a natural end, the project has been successfully delivered). I have just been offered a new contract in a different public sector organisation.

    This public sector organisation is apparently not using the new tool, but instead blanket labelling every contractor as "outside ir35", which is somewhat troubling on it's own. Received the contract yesterday and sent it off for review - but the agent phoned me and wanted me to sign it pending the review. I refused, so he asked why and having viewed the contract myself, I said I found the following troubling -

    "The Supplier will indemnify and keep <Agent> and
    the Client indemnified in full against (without
    limitation) any claims, actions, demands, costs
    (including legal costs), penalties and liabilities
    incurred in respect of or arising in connection
    with:
    a. any such income tax, National Insurance and
    similar contributions and any VAT (including any
    penalties and interest) which may be found due
    by reason of any payment made under or in
    connection with this Contract;"

    The point I made was that if the work is outside ir35, then it's not me who pays if they've got it wrong (and I would think a blanket judgement by the PS org on ir35 would raise a red flag to HMRC). At which point the Recruiter started BSing about how once you were outside you'd never be back inside (ignoring case law and common sense), so I said I'd like to wait for the review to complete before signing.

    Am I being paranoid about this clause? Personally I think I'm not, and my instinct is to look for private sector work while the ir35 legislation sorts itself out one way or another

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacD View Post
    "The Supplier will indemnify and keep <Agent> and
    the Client indemnified in full against (without
    limitation) any claims, actions, demands, costs
    (including legal costs), penalties and liabilities
    incurred in respect of or arising in connection
    with:
    a. any such income tax, National Insurance and
    similar contributions and any VAT (including any
    penalties and interest) which may be found due
    by reason of any payment made under or in
    connection with this Contract;"
    I agree, I definitely wouldn't be rushing to sign any contract with that clause in it...
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  3. #3

    Godlike

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacD View Post
    Am I being paranoid about this clause? Personally I think I'm not, and my instinct is to look for private sector work while the ir35 legislation sorts itself out one way or another
    No. You're absolutely doing the right thing. Wait for the review. However, I would personally insist on that clause being removed, regardless of the outcome of the review.

  4. #4

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    Interesting clause. But hugely contradictory of all that has been discussed/legislated. Is this allowed?

  5. #5

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Absolutely do not sign until this has been deleted from the contract.
    (And don't buy any "it can't be done", "it's standard", "we're not allowed to make changes to the contract" BS)

  6. #6

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacD View Post
    Long-time reader of CUK, long-time contractor (approx 15 years), first time poster.

    For background - up until the end of last year, all my contracts were in the private sector. I'm just finishing my first 3 month Public sector contract (a natural end, the project has been successfully delivered). I have just been offered a new contract in a different public sector organisation.

    This public sector organisation is apparently not using the new tool, but instead blanket labelling every contractor as "outside ir35", which is somewhat troubling on it's own. Received the contract yesterday and sent it off for review - but the agent phoned me and wanted me to sign it pending the review. I refused, so he asked why and having viewed the contract myself, I said I found the following troubling -

    "The Supplier will indemnify and keep <Agent> and
    the Client indemnified in full against (without
    limitation) any claims, actions, demands, costs
    (including legal costs), penalties and liabilities
    incurred in respect of or arising in connection
    with:
    a. any such income tax, National Insurance and
    similar contributions and any VAT (including any
    penalties and interest) which may be found due
    by reason of any payment made under or in
    connection with this Contract;"

    The point I made was that if the work is outside ir35, then it's not me who pays if they've got it wrong (and I would think a blanket judgement by the PS org on ir35 would raise a red flag to HMRC). At which point the Recruiter started BSing about how once you were outside you'd never be back inside (ignoring case law and common sense), so I said I'd like to wait for the review to complete before signing.

    Am I being paranoid about this clause? Personally I think I'm not, and my instinct is to look for private sector work while the ir35 legislation sorts itself out one way or another
    My new contract starting 10th April has just been found outside but I won't see the contract until after the legislation has been finalised on Monday. I wouldn't want to be signing anything with a clause like that in it as I have no control of the decision. IANAL but on the flip side it could be ripped apart in court, I wouldn't want to be the test case.

  7. #7

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    Default Outside IR35 PS contract

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacD View Post
    Long-time reader of CUK, long-time contractor (approx 15 years), first time poster.

    For background - up until the end of last year, all my contracts were in the private sector. I'm just finishing my first 3 month Public sector contract (a natural end, the project has been successfully delivered). I have just been offered a new contract in a different public sector organisation.

    This public sector organisation is apparently not using the new tool, but instead blanket labelling every contractor as "outside ir35", which is somewhat troubling on it's own. Received the contract yesterday and sent it off for review - but the agent phoned me and wanted me to sign it pending the review. I refused, so he asked why and having viewed the contract myself, I said I found the following troubling -

    "The Supplier will indemnify and keep and
    the Client indemnified in full against (without
    limitation) any claims, actions, demands, costs
    (including legal costs), penalties and liabilities
    incurred in respect of or arising in connection
    with:
    a. any such income tax, National Insurance and
    similar contributions and any VAT (including any
    penalties and interest) which may be found due
    by reason of any payment made under or in
    connection with this Contract;"

    The point I made was that if the work is outside ir35, then it's not me who pays if they've got it wrong (and I would think a blanket judgement by the PS org on ir35 would raise a red flag to HMRC). At which point the Recruiter started BSing about how once you were outside you'd never be back inside (ignoring case law and common sense), so I said I'd like to wait for the review to complete before signing.

    Am I being paranoid about this clause? Personally I think I'm not, and my instinct is to look for private sector work while the ir35 legislation sorts itself out one way or another
    Unenforceable to push the liability to you. Their contract will not trump the legislation.

    Edit - I read this wrong. The clause would need to stay.
    Last edited by Andy Hallett; 18th March 2017 at 10:27.

  8. #8

    More time posting than coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Hallett View Post
    Unenforceable to push the liability to you. Their contract will not trump the legislation.
    Ignorance like that makes you wonder what other nasties are in the contract.

  9. #9

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    Default Outside IR35 PS contract

    Quote Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
    Ignorance like that makes you wonder what other nasties are in the contract.
    To be fair most companies would have that as a generic term. If an agency contracts with a PSC on a normal engagement it would rightfully protect itself with its supplier.

    These generic terms will remain (I haven't changed ours) but obviously if an outside determination changes to an inside one the liability moves to the 'fee payer'
    Last edited by Andy Hallett; 18th March 2017 at 10:29.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Hallett View Post
    To be fair most companies would have that as a generic term. If an agency contracts with a PSC on a normal engagement it would rightfully protect itself with its supplier.

    I suspect these generic terms will remain (I haven't changed ours) but just because it's in the contract, and you agree to it, doesn't make it enforceable.
    Correct, but I wouldn't touch a contract with such broad transfer of liability clauses, enforceable or otherwise. Guff clauses are often used as leverage via threats to test them, and that could be an expensive game. Never sign a contract with crap that shouldn't be there.

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