IT contractor to crowdfund legal challenge to UK's new IR35 off-payroll rules


The move follows a recent victory for locums who threatened the National Health Service with a judicial review over its ban on contractors after the introduction of the controversial new regulations.

An IT contractor is seeking donations to help crowdfund a £360,000 legal challenge against the UK government’s IR35 off-payroll reforms, which only apply to the public sector.

According to online publication Contractor UK, Mike Gibson, who runs Ethical Consulting Ltd, is seeking to overturn controversial new IR35 regulations that were introduced in April, believing there are “strong grounds” for doing so.

The former transformation director at IT consultancies Logica (acquired by CGI Group in 2012) and Fujitsu referred to two contractors he knew of who were “on the verge of losing their homes because of the slowdown in the public sector caused by IR35 [changes]”. He hinted that human rights legislation could be employed in the proposed case.

The move follows a recent victory for locums who had threatened the National Health Service (NHS) with a judicial review over its prohibition of contractors after the introduction of the new rules. The locums’ case was handled by barrister Michael Paulin on behalf of the Locum Doctors Union and Healthcare Professionals Union and the NHS subsequently rescinded the ban.

“There are a huge number of lines of complaint that we could pursue and I would hope that we would use the extensive knowledge and intelligence that Michael Paulin and his team have already amassed,” Gibson said. “It cannot be fair that public sector organisations are being compelled to pay more for exactly the same service as private sector organisations.”