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Not everyone wants to be on a PAYE-roll



THE NEW CIS tax scheme is causing a lot of problems for contractors and subcontractors alike.

Apart from the issue of ensur-ing that all subcontractors have a registration card, contractors have to be very careful about how they engage them.

Subcontracting them in can be a minefield because neither contractor nor subcontractor has a say in what constitutes working on a self-employed basis.

It is the Inland Revenue that decides, when and if they audit a business.

The penalties for getting it wrong, as all readers who have been investigated know, are severe and have closed businesses in certain cases.

The argument that everyone should be on PAYE is as daft as it is economically impractical. Not everybody wants to be employed, and vice versa, so there should be an element of choice.

The Construction Workers Guild was created out of that need and provides a vehicle to protect the interests of both the contractor and subcontractor.

Our clients know they can engage men who genuinely want to be self-employed and are protected from penalties should they be audited by the Revenue or DSS.

Similarly, subcontractors benefit, as they get better rates than their PAYE colleagues, to compensate for less job security.

We need a balanced approach as, clearly, anyone tendering for a job pricing all labour on a self-employed basis will easily beat bids based on a PAYE- only labour force.

If the Revenue's approach was that, say, 30 per cent of a company's labour had to be on PAYE, then we could all act and price accordingly.

Dermot O'Grady

Construction Workers Guild

North Harrow