Why Use Automation?

An introduction to automation

Human beings have been automating processes as early as the industrial revolution. Creating machines to take care of manual tasks enabled us to build quicker, be more productive and repeat tasks with greater accuracy.

And in the digital world, automation is more prevalent than ever. Our diaries have been replaced by phones, maps by sat nav and photo albums by cloud storage.

Even in the law industry, long reliant on “billable hours” and teams of people, software is allowing firms to execute decision- and process-based logic, enabling them to work at a scale they couldn’t before.

IR35 Shield chose to use software automation, alongside collaboration from the supply chain, to automate our decisions and bring speed, scalability, consistency and accuracy into the complex world of employment status case law.

Automating processes

What problems can automation solve?




The estimated number of limited company contractors




The estimated number of medium to large businesses




How long it takes HMRC to fully train their status inspectors




The number of assessments one legal expert can complete in a year

This demonstrates the size of the problem we are facing.

Without automation, there are simply not enough qualified humans to cope with the workload, and those that try will still be reading from crib-sheets and following processes.

IR35 Shield’s technology

Using Amazon’s state of the art “event-driven, serverless” cloud computing technology, IR35 Shield can generate one SDS in the same time it can generate one thousand.

In fact, IR35 Shield could individually assess the entire contractor market in a single morning. So no need for blanket assessments.

And best of all, since this data is now securely stored in the cloud, your firm can use it to run reports, gain insights and identify problems.

IR35 Shield Reports & Insights

How does IR35 Shield calculate employment status?

IR35 Shield has been automated to follow “Nolan’s framework” in Hall v Lorimer, one of the seminal employment status cases. We gather all of the detailed evidence, and base our decision on every piece.

Only we can do it faster, whilst applying exactly the same unbiased logic every time.

In order to decide whether a person carries on business on his own account it is necessary to consider many different aspects of that person's work activity. This is not a mechanical exercise of running through items on a check list to see whether they are present in, or absent from, a given situation. The object of the exercise is to paint a picture from the accumulation of detail. The overall effect can only be appreciated by standing back from the detailed picture, viewing it from a distance and only then making an informed, considered, qualitative appreciation of the whole.

It is a matter of evaluation of the overall effect of the detail, which is not necessarily the same as the sum total of the individual details. Not all details are of equal weight or importance in any given situation. The details may also vary in importance from one situation to another.

Hall v Lorimer ‎EWCA Civ 25,, IRLR 171

More reasons to choose an automated solution

Always consistent

Employment case law is a complicated area, and humans are fallible. At the end of a long day, would a human put the same effort into evaluating employment status as they did that morning?

Automation means that IR35 Shield judges every case with the same rules. Never tires, doesn’t make mistakes, and always follows the instructions.

Instant results

IR35 Shield determines employment status as soon as the assessment is submitted. A 26 page Status Determination Statement is generated within seconds, the relevant business is alerted, and the information can be accessed immediately.

After reviewing, the Statement can be shared with the contractor and compliance is achieved. No waiting necessary.

IR35 Shield - even better with collaboration

Like the best automated tools, IR35 Shield works better with humans. Our Collaborative Assessment module has been designed so that each question is answered by the most relevant person in the supply chain.

With human oversight ensuring that our detailed questions have accurate answers, you can leave automation to complete the task of generating a determination.

Our Monitoring technology also keeps track of your contractor’s IR35 status and automatically alerts you to material changes to status as and when they happen, catching any costly problems early.

IR35 Shield provides you with the comfort of knowing that your IR35 compliance is robust.

IR35 Shield Automation - Better With Humans

Find out how IR35 Shield can ensure your business is compliant.

Speak with an expert
over 150,000 assessments

Using our assessment technology

over 20 years

Over 20 years’ experience at the cutting-edge of IR35

since 2009

Built in 2009 and expertly refined to align with current IR35 case law