This is a pretty good guide:
societyofvirtualassistants. … ssistants/

We’ve had a few people saying prospects are worried about using a VA “because of IR35” but really there’s nothing to worry about if you are genuinely self-employed.


It will also depend on who you are working with. A client of mine worked on contract as a consultant with the NHS but from 1st April would have been required to register as IR35 - would have meant registering with an umbrella company to process invoices/timesheets that would have normally been issued direct to the NHS.

The umbrella company would then deduct NI/PAYE tax from the invoiced amount, charge her for the pleasure of doing that and then the funds would be paid into her limited company account on which she would have to pay corporation tax! Needless to say she has withdrawn from working with the NHS for the moment.

Most public sector bodies are doing this and they usually expect you to be limited too before they will work with you.


Yes - I’ve heard that Dawn - basically all public sector bodies are being asked to prove that their consultants are properly self-employed and not just “umbrella” companies for subcontractors not paying tax…

I don’t think it really applies to VAs as much, but I can see how it would be almost impossible for a doctor working within the NHS to prove that they were autonomous and able to work for anyone, as there’s a limited market really unless you set up the whole shebang as a private GP/consultant yourself rather than locuming.


I think they only time it would apply to VAs were if they were working directly with public sentor. When I worked with one of my clients, my contract was actually with the NHS and they would only work with me if I was a limited company or worked under an umbrella company as a sole trader.

I think public sector would now expect VAs to work under IR35 or umbrella companies.

Personally I think this is going to cause the public sector a few problems as a lot of consultants will decide not to work under IR35.


Interesting - yeah, up here they won’t work with you unless you have Ltd Company and MASSIVE indemnity insurance… Just ridiculous sums (like you could fund NHS Scotland for a year with the money they expected me to insure against!). Hence why we don’t work for them.

It will be interesting to see what happens - I predict they will just hire in house as employees, but I doubt you’d get the same quality of experience by doing that and long term it will cost more.