Policy paper

Rules for off-payroll working from April 2021

This measure introduces changes to the operation of the off-payroll working rules from April 2021, these rules are designed to ensure fairness between individuals working in a similar way.


Draft legislation

Explanatory note


To increase compliance with the existing off-payroll working rules in the private and third sectors, medium and large engagers will become responsible for assessing an individual’s employment status and deducting the right tax and National Insurance contributions when appropriate.

The changes to the off-payroll working rules were due to come into effect on 6 April 2020. This has been delayed until 6 April 2021 as part of the additional support the government is providing for businesses and individuals to deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The delay to the introduction of the changes is not a cancellation.

The figures for the expected total revenue from the policy, before the announced delay, are set out in Table 2.2 of Budget 2020 and have been certified by the Office for Budget Responsibility. This assumed an April 2020 start date and estimates £1.2 billion of revenue in 2020-21. You can find more details on the estimation method in the policy costings document published alongside Budget 2018.

The impact of the delay will be costed and published at the next fiscal event and will be subject to the scrutiny of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Archived documents will still reference April 2020 but the implementation of these rules have been deferred until April 2021. You can read guidance on understanding off-payroll working.

Read the ‘off-payroll working rules from April 2021’ consultation and summary of responses.

Read the‘off-payroll working rules from April 2021’ factsheet.

Published 11 July 2019
Last updated 3 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the delay in the off-payroll rules taking effect from April 2020 to April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Included link to 'Off-payroll working rules from April 2020: Factsheet'

  3. First published.