Good News for Contractors as Major UK Oil Company Declares Position on IR35

As discussions about IR35 and the impact on UK-based contractors increase, Wood, the oil and gas company based in Aberdeen, have today notified all their PSC contractors of their plans post April 2020.

Grant Thornton are currently working with Wood to review the status of their UK-engaged contractors, aiming to finish the review by mid-December to notify contractors in early 2020.

A couple of key points to consider are that Wood are not using the CEST tool to make determinations, instead these are being conducted by the Wood managers, not a central function. This is good news as the managers will be more attuned to the working practices and therefore better able to make the important decisions.

Not that they are necessarily going to check your CV and LinkedIn profile, but it would be prudent to make sure both are portraying an Outside-IR35 status; to check, contact our partners, The CV & Interview Advisors here for a free IR35 CV and LinkedIn review.

If the contract is judged to be outside of the scope of IR35, then it will remain in place after April 2020 although there is an indication that this may be under revised contractual terms. We expect this will most likely be under a Statement of Works type arrangement.

If the contract is deemed inside IR35, the options are as you would expect: either apply for a staff position or move to agency PAYE where “the rate will be reduced recognising the costs to be borne by the Wood engaging company e.g. costs like employer NIC.” Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be an umbrella option.

If you are having to apply for a staff position, having a compelling CV is going to help your chances and potentially give you more bargaining power with your rate – you can receive a free CV appraisal here

It’s good to see that Wood are taking the lead on this and there are definite positives to take from the announcement but, as ever, the devil will be in the detail, and this won’t become clear until the reviews are completed next month. But it’s definitely good news that the blanket approach is NOT being taken.

If you’re at all concerned how the IR35 reforms will affect you, please feel free to contact us through the usual channels. We are very keen to engage with as many PSC contractors as we possibly can at this pivotal time in the contractor community. You can also register for our upcoming webinar on Tuesday 12th November at 7.15pm; register here: ‘How IR35 Affects Your CV and ‘Winning-Work’ Strategy’

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