The Government has missed its opportunity to encourage contractors to develop and update their skills via training courses in its IR35 proposals according to Anne Swain, chief executive at the Association of Technology and Staffing Companies (ATSCo) She said, "The Government has missed the opportunity to encourage contractors to invest in their small businesses as there is no specific tax relief for training, and that's a mistake."
Although the Government has given contractors some leeway for expenses in its IR35 legislation, (5% of the contract value to cover running costs including training costs), contractors need to update their skills in order for their businesses to grow. Swain said, "Contractors are less likely to invest in their technology skills, and this will impact on UK Plc as the amount of qualified individuals will fall."
Swain emphasises that those contractors who are deemed to be employed will also expect conditions to match. "Contractors will expect to have employees, rights such as share options and sick pay and it's a slippery slope. It's something that the Government needs to look at."