Bectu talks to NEP about their IR35 proposals

28 November 2019


Tony Lennon, Bectu’s freelance and research officer, and Sean Kelly from Bectu’s Outside Broadcast Network, yesterday met with Simon Moorhead, NEP UK’s CEO, to discuss the company’s position that freelancers would be required to operate through personal service companies from April 2020.

BECTU asked why NEP was proposing the change, and told the company that proposed IR35 changes next April would not require any change in the status of freelancers. We reiterated that being forced to work through a personal service company would be an unwelcome increase in cost and administration to our sole trader members.

NEP UK replied that the changing and uncertain tax landscape was only one factor, the principle reason for the proposal being that they wished to “simplify and streamline” the freelance engagement process, and said that the majority of freelance engagements currently were with personal service companies.

The company was unwilling, however, to go into detail regarding its tax advice or processes, and Bectu remains unconvinced that there is sufficient justification for the inconvenience and expense that a status change would cause to a large number of our members.

Both parties agreed to keep talking, and will be meeting again.

Lennon said:

“We’ve had a constructive and open conversation with NEP about their new approach to the engagement of freelancers, but have still to understand the business or legal reasons for their decision about personal service companies. It looks as if we will be given a chance to talk directly with their legal and tax advisers, and we’re keen to have that conversation. We welcome the company’s agreement to meet again.”