The latest SAP Report


Option 2 ‘Inside’ IR35: Don’t worry, we can still find SAP experts

By admin_bluewaveselect


If you are an SAP Technology Leader working within a company that’s decided on a PAYE “Policy Change” I expect you are a little frustrated to say the least! If your hands are tied to this model, we can help engage and importantly retain strong people.

Experience since the legislation change on 6th April 2021 has highlighted a number of concerning issues when engaging SAP people under an Inside IR35 model:

  • Clients waste valuable leadership time interviewing, making a decision to offer to then be let down by the candidate who takes a different offer or simply decides ‘my accountant has advised me not to work PAYE”.
  • Contractors take an Inside IR35 role as a stop gap and then quickly jump ship once an Outside IR35 contract pops up.
  • Clients simply do not have access to the best SAP experts often resulting in failed programmes.
  • Some clients have moved to a higher reliance on SAP Consultancies with reported challenges such as:
    • Increased days rates, often for the same as contractors accessible through agencies at half the rate.
    • Greenfield clients often ‘don’t know what they don’t know’ so lose that independent expert advice and sadly get taken advantage of by 3rd


Let’s face it, the truth is, without taking a creative approach, Inside IR35 engagements do not attract the right calibre of SAP experts needed to truly deliver the business benefits of the huge investment in SAP enabled business transformations.

How do you attract & retain PAYE SAP experts?

  • Work with a specialist recruiter who knows their market inside and out.
    • For example, specialist recruiters will not only personally know the players in the market personally, but they will also be highly skilled at identifying the signs of being ‘led down the garden path’. Quickly facing this head on, only trusted candidates will be shortlisted, protecting extremely valuable Leadership time and ultimately positively impacting the success of the programme.
  • Consider offsetting the additional costs by offering pay increase or additional benefits to attract and retain top SAP talent.
    • As a rough example £600/day Outside IR35 day rate would require and uplift to £775/day Inside IR35 for the SAP specialist to have the same take home pay. We have found between 20% – 30% increase works well to engage strong experts and ensures they do not leave.


  • Is there something unique about your programme? Really promote this aspect when interviewing and offering contractors. This message of involvement in your transformation will make them more marketable for their next big SAP assignment. For example, first opportunity to move into S/4, new industry, new niche technology in demand or security clearance provided.


  • Offer a significant completion bonus at the end of the assignment. Formally agreed at the beginning of the assignment; this approach has proven to work well.


  • Work closely with your agency to educate contractors that they can keep their Ltd companies open in parallel with the PAYE assignment with no tax implications. With the right accountancy support, contractors can very easily work on both Inside and Outside assignments in one given tax year.


  • As travel expenses cannot be offset under a PAYE arrangement, it’s important to identify local talent or offer fully remote working. Our analysis of the SAP job market indicates that flexible, remote work arrangements are gaining huge popularity with SAP-enabled businesses. That means travel and accommodation costs may soon be a thing of the past as fully remote placements become the norm across the industry.  

Given the right approach, considering the pointers above this figure need not be true for your programme. Inside IR35 can work well for businesses if there are compelling reasons for strong SAP professionals to join and stay on the programme.

The significant challenges of Inside IR35 PAYE may have become norm for some clients, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can access the right SAP talent, keep them engaged and minimise and mitigate the risk of delays hitting your business-transformation programmes.  

Alternatively bluewaveCONSULT, our independent SAP consultancy, can deliver through formal Statement of Work (SoW) arrangements. This robust Outside IR35 model allows our clients to successfully engage with the very best SAP experts in the UK. Our true IT services model will mitigate the risk of non-compliance and meet all project needs, including sourcing talent and processing necessary documentation.

Read more about our Statement of Work (SoW) solution here

Are you an SAP company requiring expertise or advice on IR35?

Let us know at [email protected] or +44 (0) 1423 559 559.

Related Posts


UK & Ireland SAP Contractor Survey Results 2024


The five biggest challenges of an S/4HANA implementation (and how to overcome them)


The Women in SAP Report 2024


Should more SAP Procurement Consultants be learning to Swim Upstream?

Get started

Try us out

Try us out risk-free

It all starts with one great SAP hire.

We’ll quickly prove that we can get you the right people to deliver your project on time and within budget.

Get a free 1hr

Get a free 1hr consultation

No strings attached.

Get an in-depth review of your resource plan and make sure you’re hiring the right skills at the right cost, at the right time.