No they can not Blanket Ban. The IR35 changes introduced in April 2021 oblige end hirers to take ‘reasonable care’ when assessing IR35 status. If reasonable care has not been taken when determining a contractors IR35 status, then the end hirer may incur fines with HMRC.
When announcing that changes would be made to IR35 assessments from April 2021, HMRC gave clear guidance on how private sector end hirers should undertake their new responsibilities. In order to remain compliant, end hirers must assess each individual contract on its own merit – meaning any kind of blanket ban approach is now illegal.
Every individual contractor is entitled to an SDS which outlines the reasons for the decision for both the contractor and their agency. End hirers are also required to keep detailed records, and put processes in place to deal with any disagreements that arise. Introducing a blanket ban, or failing to comply with the legislation in any other way, makes the end hirer liable for unpaid taxes and fines.