Computer Futures

IR35 Insights Survey: Off-payroll working in the Public Sector

New legislation that impacted the UK Public Sector, in respect of their requirement to determine IR35 status was introduced in April 2017. As a trusted long time supplier of specialist staff into the Public Sector, SThree wanted to support our customers with this significant transition and comply with our legal requirements. 

In order to do this, we made the most of our partnerships with CCS and APSCo to make sure we had a thorough understanding of the expected changes. We also put together an IR35 project team which our customers could turn to if they needed any advice or guidance. 

SThree then shared all the knowledge we’d learned, inviting customers to a series of 16 webinars, supporting 453 customers. A series of face-to-face events also took place to provide personalised service to our customers. The content covered the basics as well as outlining what this would mean for the Public Sector, and those who attended were invited to ask any questions they had, so our team could provide clarity.

Our LinkedIn group fielded questions and kept our customers up-to-date as the amendments to the legislation rolled out. Customers were also informed through e-mail campaigns and information packs.  

Once 6th April had arrived, we asked all our customers about how the changes to the IR35 legislation impacted them.

The survey results demonstrated some of the following:  

  • 58% have a good understanding of IR35 
  • 35% will remain as a contractor within the Public Sector
  • 63% have seen a contractor leave the role because of determination results
  • 94% thought the IR35 changes will have a negative impact on the sector
  • 44% of organisations do not have a process in place for making IR35 assessments
  • 68% of organisations have lost contract staff because of the changes
  • 64% think IR35 will be applied to the private sector

These results demonstrate the following; there’s a continued need for SThree to support our customers, processes and understanding of this legislation can be improved upon, and there may be a skills shortage in the Public Sector due to contractors leaving a role as an outcome of their determination. To view the full results of the survey download our infographic below.


Andy Almond, Partner of Computer Futures, part of the SThree Group, said, “With over half of the respondents sharing that their organisation had little understanding of IR35, it shows how much work the Public Sector still has to do in order to demonstrate it’s embedded the changes in policy.”

“The public sector still has a heavy reliance on interims to pick up work shortfalls left by cuts in permanent staff. It seems that whilst 80% of people will remain in the sector, the survey could indicate that there will be a rise in costs and a 20% reduction in staff. This may further highlight the gap in cuts to budgets and lack of investment in the sector.”

“The current and immediate future landscape appears to be unsettled, with over 60% of people saying they have seen people leave due to the recent changes in legislation. The question remains whether the IR35 changes have been successful and will achieve their end goal. Lessons should be learnt if it’s to be rolled into the private sector as anticipated by our respondents.”

With this in mind, we’re continuing to guide and support our customers on this journey. So if you would like assistance with IR35 or would like to tell us about your success story in implementing changes, please do contact us