Lords question Public Bodies, Government Departments and Industry

08 January 2014

Representatives from the Department of Health and the Local Government Association will be among witnesses questioned by the House of Lords Committee charged with investigating the tax issues relating to the use of Personal Service Companies.


Wednesday 8 Janaury, Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

At 4pm

  • Michael Coughlin, Executive Director of the Local Government Association (LGA);
  • Gordon Fleck, Policy Manager at the Department of Health;
  • Tim Sands - Deputy Director for NHS Pay, Pensions and Employment Services; and
  • Ralph Coulbeck - Director of Strategy for NHS Trust Development Authority.

At 5pm

  • Dr Alix Thom - Employment & Skills Policy Manager for Oil and Gas UK; and
  • Robert Fort, Tax Director at Amey Plc.

Likely questions

The Committee are likely to ask the witnesses from the Department of Health and the Local Government Association questions on a variety of issues including:

  • In which parts of local government and health services are PSCs used, and whether this has increased or decreased in recent years;
  • If health services or local government are pushing people into working through a PSC because they do not want to create an employment relationship with their workers;
  • If there are any particular difficulties for local authorities or health services when staff are engaged through other intermediaries, such as agencies; and if their HR, procurement and finance departments have sufficient knowledge of IR35; and
  • If they provide workers being engaged through PSCs with assistance to help them understand the rules which make them responsible for the risk of IR35.

The Committee will also ask witnesses questions on areas including:

  • If there are any advantages in engaging workers using a PSC to deliver particular business needs;
  • If IR35 creates confusion in the contractor market and the negative impact any such confusion may have;
  • If people contracted through PSCs in their sectors understand their tax and National Insurance liabilities, their lack of employment rights and, if so, what benefits they gain from using a PSC; and
  • What level of interest businesses take in establishing whether IR35 might apply to contracts.

Further information

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