Personal Services – Crackdown boosts benefits

The crackdown by the Inland Revenue on personal services companies could mean thousands more workers will be affected by working-time rules and other employee-related legislation, tax experts warned this week, writes Chris Quick.

They fear the proposed personal services company rules will, in effect, make many self-employed contractors employees of the companies they are carrying out work for.

While that would reduce their flexibility and independence, it would also open them up to protection from recent rules introduced to protect employees – such as maximum working weeks, minimum paid holidays and paternity leave.

With concern growing about high levels of stress and ever-longer hours among British workers, this could have a positive impact on the lifestyles of some of those affected.

However, this would be at the price of imposing large costs and administrative burdens on the employers affected.

The warning comes just one week before Accountancy Age undertakes its careers survey which, as well as salary issues, will ask readers to assess the importance of working hours and the balance between their work and personal lives.

Results of the Accountancy Age 1999 careers survey will be published in the 22 July issue and will offer a comprehensive picture of the state of the accountancy profession in 1999.

As well as allowing comparison of working conditions, the survey will reveal levels of job satisfaction across the profession’s many different sectors.

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