Contract work in the public sector; a topic which has raised a number of impassioned debates on social media and, in pubs no doubt, across the UK.

Approximately 6 months ago, I was asked to arrange for several contractors to stay on-site with a client with the caveat that whilst they would remain contract staff, they would not be on traditional day rate contracts.

The client in question was at the tail end of a programme of work that had already overspent and needed a clearly-defined way of keeping these workers on site to finish the project. However, because of the increasing clamp down of HMRC on workers deemed to be "inside" of IR35, they had to look at a different approach to retaining their services.

The answer: Draw up new contracts for these workers and pay them based on pre-determined deliverables rather than a traditional day rate.

The contracts were drawn up with each worker being heavily involved in definitions and scope. Once everyone was in agreement, the contractors went back on site to finish the remainder of the work.

In principle, this approach worked well. Contract staff were given full autonomy and a clear scope of how to deliver the work, whilst retaining their bottom line, and were kept outside of IR35 (designation indicated by the client and ESI questionnaires were also filled out for each engagement).

There were some teething problems, namely around deliverables changing in scope throughout the duration of engagements, and some deliverables being dependent on other (often permanent) members of the business. Having the deliverable sign-off deadline around the Easter holiday was certainly fun, too!

All in all, it was a successful trial run of a model which may well increase in popularity over the next 12-18 months.

I'd be keen on hearing your thoughts on this. 

Is this the way forward for the Public Sector? 

With legislation changes looming for the Private Sector, could this be a model that more businesses around the UK should be looking into now? 

Repost from LinkedIn.