According to Laith Khalaf, pensions specialist for Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, the taxman could start cracking down on employment arrangements such as IR35 Personal Service companies.
IR35 could apply when you work for a client through an intermediary such as a limited company or partnership. However, a possible HMRC clampdown on these employment arrangements, said to be used by as many as 100,000 people, could have a knock-on impact on individuals’ take-home pay, and on businesses’ tax and NI costs, as well as workplace pensions.
Mr Khalaf said: “Anyone who has to be redefined as an employee rather than an external contractor could become eligible for auto-enrolment into the employer’s workplace pension scheme.”
This comes as the film industry has started to make arrangements to auto-enrol its contracting staff. In an insight paper, published by business services firm Sargent Disc, which specialises in the film and media industry, the firm warned that “auto-enrolment can be daunting, especially for the media and production industries”.
Approximately one-third of the workforce in television and nearly half in film are working on Schedule D freelance contracts, sometimes employed through third-party agencies and often on short-term and periodic contracts.
Steve Wood, head of AE at London-based Helm Godfrey, said: “Nobody wants to see money that could otherwise have been spent on making the next British blockbuster being used to pay needless fines for missing an auto-enrolment staging date, so firms must act now to ensure they avoid a pension apocalypse.”