As a CPO, you will be responsible for determining the IR35 status for all your suppliers as well as any procurement interims you have hired to help you meet seasonal demands or manage different aspects of procurement. It can be challenging if you do not know how to assess procurement interims. There are certain areas that you need to look at to determine an interim’s IR35 status. 

Supervision and management

A procurement interim will be considered inside IR35 if you supervise them and provide instructions on how they should be working. Usually, if the job responsibility matches that of permanent employees and the interim has fixed break timings, they fall within the scope of the regulation. Make sure that the contract reflects the terms and conditions in a clear and precise manner so that there is no scope for ambiguities or misunderstandings. 

Interim substitution

For a procurement interim to stay outside IR35, the hiring contract should mention clearly that if the interim is unable to come to work for a specific number of days, they should substitute themselves with a qualified professional. Of course, you can reject the substitute if you feel that they are not adequately qualified, but if you reject them based on personality, it means that you are looking at individual qualities just like you would when hiring an employee. That would make an interim fall inside IR35.

Office equipment

When organisations provide an interim with office keys, a laptop and a mobile phone, they are treating them like an employee. Therefore, such interims fall under IR35. To be assessed outside IR35, interims need to have their own equipment and should not be allowed unfettered access to the office. 

Mutuality of obligation

Typically, procurement interims will be hired for a specific project or for the short term. Once the project is over, they leave the organisation and go and work in another one. If you want to retain the interim for another project, you can do so as long as you sign a new contract. That way, the procurement interim will be considered outside IR35. 

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