Cumbrian firms are urged to find out more about a change in legislation which will see them take on more responsibility.

Leading accountancy firm Armstrong Watson is holding an event next month to help businesses navigate the change to the IR35 tax rules.

From April, medium and large businesses will be responsible for determining whether workers should be officially registered as ‘employees’ and potentially lead to a change in many workers’ contracts.

The legislation was introduced in 2000 to ensure those individuals hired by a business were broadly paid the same amount of tax and National Insurance as employees.

It was the worker's responsibility to declare if they were an employee or working under a contract.

However, HMRC felt that the rules were not being followed properly.

Karen Thomson, head of Armstrong Watson payroll said: “It is vital that those who work through an intermediary - such as their own personal service company (PSC), agencies, accountants and agents who engage the services of a worker, HR managers and of course anyone involved in payroll - are aware of these changes, as soon it will be the responsibility of an employer or engager to assess a worker’s status.”

The firm is working with the Association of Cost Engineers to host the free event on November 19 at Energus, Lillyhall, to help guide business owners through the new rules.

To register for the breakfast event, email