• For the benefits of experience call +44(0)20 3053 4438    


Holdsway is one of the UK's top-rated interim executive firms. By introducing expertly selected interim executives on an assignment basis we:

- help businesses manage change, growth, turnaround, restructure and uncertainty;

- help businesses cope with leadership transition, when management teams change, or different leadership skills are needed to cope with changing circumstances.

What is interim management?

The management of transition, change, uncertainty or crisis by a suitably overqualified, proven executive, commissioned at senior level on an assignment basis. Interim executives provide leadership for a period of time, sharing their knowledge and experience with clients, injecting a positive influence and delivering enduring results.

Why choose an interim?

  • Interim is about providing leadership for a period of time.
  • Years of experience across different sectors means interims step in during periods of change and transition and deliver your assignment brief.
  • Interims share knowledge, best practice, fresh ideas and insights, and inject positive influence to help you deliver enduring results.
  • Interims help you implement your plans and convert your decisions to actions.

Why choose Holdsway?

  • We save you time and ensure you have the best quality interim for your assignment brief.
  • We provide rapid access to a network of experienced, proven and benchmarked interims.
  • We take the time to know our network of interims well:  we insist on meeting every interim we work with.
  • We ‘hand-pick’ our interims to provide you with a genuine short list.

IR35 Advice

Changes to off-payroll working in the private sector – IR35

The Government confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (IR35) will be reformed from 6 April 2020. It’s important not to underestimate the impact of these changes and to start preparing for them now.

HMRC has issued an Employment Status Manual for end-user companies and interim executives.

HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax tool (CEST) should be used to derive an initial Status Determination. This is a report produced by CEST to help find out if an interim executive on a specific engagement, should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes.

The Government’s CEST tool has a key role to play in determining employment status. It does have its limitations and end-user companies of interim executive services should always build up a full picture. The report provided by the CEST tool is accepted by HMRC as an Employment Status Determination.

Whilst most genuine interim executives will be classed as outside IR35, CEST will require months and perhaps years of case law to refine it and ensure it is fit for purpose. HMRC currently does not have a good record of winning cases it brings to court, suggesting that it should not be 100% relied upon to accurately reflect the employment status. It certainly should not be used to determine the employment status of the entire self-employed population of the United Kingdom. An IT contractor is very different to an interim chief information officer.

HMRC doesn’t allow for the range of reasons a business needs to hire interim executives – often within days. These include:

  • Managing leadership transition – when a leader leaves a business suddenly or when a current leader is not suited to manage a business from one state to another – in all cases a credible executive is needed at short notice.
  • Managing specific business change programmes
  • Managing a crisis or turnaround
  • All types of planned and unplanned business change

We recommend that end-user companies and interim executives use the CEST tool but also build an all-round case. Make sure there is a specific, assignment-limited situation to be managed. Make sure that there isn’t an existing employed individual suitable and available to manage this situation instead.

Surrey Business School and Holdsway published a white paper in September 2019 on the Interim Assignment Cycle, recommending a clear framework for interim assignments. Focusing on the specific assignment will help focus the minds on hiring an interim executive outside IR35.

Interim executives should inform themselves about IR35 from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). They offer informative updates on IR35 and on being self-employed, together with other services including contract compliance. We can send interim executives a link for reduced membership fees.

Useful Links and Contacts

End-user clients seeking employment tax advice, including IR35, should contact our recommended partner RSM UK.

About RSM

A leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to middle market leaders, globally. They have  around 3,800 partners and staff in the UK and access to more than 43,000 people in 120 countries.

Please contact Lee Knight, Employer Solutions Director at RSM UK: Tel: +44 (0)203 201 8508

For RSM IR35 Updates and Insights:


For specialist legal advice for interim executives and those hiring them, we also recommend contacting Brookson Legal.

Please contact Michael Howard by email Michael.howard@brookson.co.uk or simply call him on 07714 901 662

About Brookson Legal

  • Founding members of FCSA (the UK’s leading professional membership body dedicated to raising standards and promoting supply chain compliance for the temporary labour market).
  • Represented on HMRC IR35 forum and sit on HMRC’s IR35 Panel
  • IR35 Employment Status Tests brought to market in 2000
  • Currently helping over 15,000 personal service companies (PSCs)
  • 19 years of providing IR35 advice, with over 100,00 reviews carried out
  • Considerable experience from Public Sector changes

Nick Diprose is available to provide Holdsway’s view and professional opinion on IR35. Please email him on nick.diprose@holdsway.co.uk or call him on +44 (0)203 053 4438.

"Nick Diprose is adept at rapid assimilation of all essential elements of a client brief, translating them into a concise shortlist of well-matched interim executives!"

Adrian Colman, CEO Wincanton plc

"Nick Diprose is one of the key movers and shakers in the world of interim management – he is one of the very first ‘go to’ people when it comes to resourcing and advice. He runs an extremely professional outfit that really understands the market. If you are a professional interim or a client in the market for first-class interim resource, my strong advice is that Nick needs to be on your list of key contacts."

Tony Martin, Board-Level Transformation Director

"On reflection, what we needed was quite a tall order: a proven interim manager, good value, an immediate start, a fast operator who was also very capable in both strategy and execution. Nick Diprose showed us that this was, in fact, possible."

CEO, award-winning legal services firm
For clients
Call us on: +44(0)20 3053 4438
Register interest: clients@holdsway.co.uk
For interims
Call us on: +44(0)20 3053 4438
Email your CV to: interims@holdsway.co.uk