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
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