Rebecca Seeley Harris LLB (Hons) LLM MSc

Rebecca is an award winning employment status expert who started her own consultancy nearly 25 years ago when the tax initiative IR35 was announced in 1999. She has worked during that time with clients and membership organisations to help them understand IR35 and the off-payroll working rules.  She is mutli-awarding having won the Contracting Industry Influencer of the Year 2023, Rebecca is also a judge on the Contracting Awards, she won the South West of England Prestige Awards in 2024, the FSB Self-employed Sole Trader of the Year in 2022, The British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) Nigel Clothier Award for Special Contribution to Univerity Tax, and the Taxation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Taxation.  The last award was for more campaiging for limited company directors and other self-employed who were the Gaps in Support during Covid-19 pandemic.

Chair of the IAP for the FCSA

Rebecca is Chair of the FCSA Independent Arbitration Panel, which she was asked to do after her campaigning for the regulation of the umbrella company industry and the protection of the umbrella company worker.  Rebecca was also seconded to the Office of Tax Simplification as a Senior Policy Adviser for several years and worked as their expert in employment status and IR35.

What sets Rebecca apart from other advisers is that she has knowledge of both the position for tax status and for employment rights.  It is essential for businesses to understand their position from both perspectives in order to understand the pit falls.

IR35 History

After a judicial review, IR35 became law in 2000 and Rebecca started advising companies on how to deal with IR35.  Since then Rebecca has continued to advise companies both nationally and internationally on how to work with a non-standard workforce in the UK jurisdiction.  She specialises in IR35, off-payroll working, employment and tax status on all types of non-permanent positions including the self-employed, limb ‘b’ workers, LLP partners, personal service companies and the Construction Industry Scheme, amongst others.

Office of Tax Simplification

Rebecca was seconded to the Office of Tax Simplification (an independent body of HM Treasury)  in 2014 as a Senior Policy Adviser to advise the government on employment and tax status.  Reporting direct to the Chancellor, Rebecca was part of a small team of experts who drafted the Employment Status Review (2015), she then continued to advise on the review of Small Company Taxation leading on the taxation of nano companies and the self-employed and published the Review of Small Company Taxation (2016).

As a result of that review Rebecca developed the concept of SEPA (Self-employed with Protected Assets), providing a vehicle to the self-employed to be able to protect the family home.  Rebecca also recomended the setting up of and was a representative on the Cross Government Working Group on Employment Status.  She then co-authored a focus paper into the taxation of the Gig Economy with John Whiting CBE in 2017.

Labour Business

Rebecca has worked with Labour Business for many years.  She attends the Labour Party conference most years to advise on employment status and the self-employed.  She also works closely with Philip Ross, the Ambassador for the self-employed for the Labour Party and Deputy Chair of Labour Business.

Other positions

Rebecca has lectured at the London School of Economics, spoken at many professional conferences, and written many articles for the professional press. Her focus is to understand the complex case law and to be able to decipher the legislation and how it affects different companies.

Her professional articles are published on AccountingWeb, Contractor UK, Taxation Magazine, Tax Journal.  She is also published in the National media including the Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, the Daily Mail and many others.

Rebecca has a degree in Business Law with Honours, an LLM in International Commercial and Corporate Law (with Distinction) and an MSc in Experimental Psychology.

Rebecca Harris

Rebecca received a personal letter of thanks from Philip Hammond, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, for her work at the Office of Tax Simplification.

Rebecca received a personal letter of thanks from George Osbourne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, for her work on the Employment Status Review.


Contracting Industry Influencer of the Year Award 2023South West of England Prestige Award 2024FSB Self-employed sole trader of the YearBUFDG Nigel Clothier Award for University Taxation 2021Tolleys Taxation Award 2021

“I am told that your expert legal knowledge and experience have been really valuable to the Office of Tax Simplification”


“I engaged Rebecca to support me in a review of Employment status at my previous employer. I came to hear about her work via a colleague at another university who had worked with her at the Office for Tax Simplification . Rebecca, fully supported me throughout this piece of work and made the task much more manageable by utilising her extensive experience and excellent knowledge of both the legislation and most importantly HMRC’s approach. Rebecca is easy to work with and really takes the time to understand what the client requires and is always there to support, even when deadlines are tight. I would wholly recommend Rebecca and hope to work with her again in the near future.”

Chris Bridgeman
Tax Manager at King’s College London

“Rebecca contributed to a report we have commissioned on the breakdown of remuneration models used to pay the 28m employed and 4m self-employed in the UK. Her knowledge of this complex market and diligence in researching and cross checking data from different sources ensured our conclusions were supported by reference-able sources.

Her agile thinking and ownership coupled with a wonderful work ethic made her an absolute pleasure to work with and her engaging and breezy style meant our team looked forward to every interaction.

If you are embarking on any kind of research in this area, and more particularly, if you are market sizing the contingent workforce in the UK you should make Rebecca a part of your research team.”

John Whelan
Director MyDigital Ltd

“I was recommended to Rebecca shortly after I set up my company Osirian Consulting in 2000 because the legal firm I was using to prepare our contracts had created contracts which were not fit for purpose for the recruitment industry.

Rebecca provided much stronger templates which protected all parties and were acceptable to our contracting and client community.

We have worked closely with Rebecca over the years and the trust is so great that we now retain her for any legal or personnel issues which arise within the business.

Contract recruitment throws up its share of legal issues and the last few years would have been far more challenging had it not been for Rebecca’s support and guidance and I will always be grateful to her for this.

I strongly recommend Rebecca for her knowledge of the legal system, contract law and her ability to research and provide accurate guidance regardless of the matter in question.”

Colin Lapthorn
Director Osirian Consulting Ltd

Gary Mackley-Smith
Director Elicitor Ltd

Paul Norton

Director Cyberhalo Ltd