Update from IPSE Co-chair Mandy Clarke
- 09 Feb 2023
- Mandy Clarke
We’re looking forward to a year which is already showing promise of many new opportunities for IPSE to expand and enhance the ways in which it can provide value, support, and representation for its members – with fresh expertise joining the IPSE board of directors, a valuable new partnership soon to launch and promising progress made on IPSE’s plans to improve the experience of contractors forced to work in the umbrella sector.
IPSE's 2023 Annual General Meeting
Firstly, I’m pleased to confirm that IPSE successfully held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 26 January, hosted both virtually and in-person, covering the accounting year ending April 2022. The resolutions were approved by members in attendance by a comfortable margin.
New appointments strengthen IPSE's board
It was also a pleasure to confirm the appointment of Rosie Halfhead and election of Hamish John Stewart to our board of directors at the General Meeting.
A review of the skills and experience we felt most valuable to the IPSE board led us to the appointment of Rosie Halfhead, who brings significant experience from the consulting, advisory, not-for-profit, and corporate sectors, across a range of industries.
And our recent director election saw Hamish John Stewart, an economist and chartered accountant, elected as an IPSE member representative to the board. Having worked in numerous finance roles in his career, Hamish now works as a freelance production accountant in the Film and TV industry – specialising in IR35, tax, reporting and advising freelance crew.
You can learn more about IPSE’s new directors in this blog.
The Self-Employed Landscape in 2022
Every year, IPSE publishes its seminal ‘Self-Employed Landscape’ report; working with Kingston University’s Small Business Research Centre, we paint an up-to-date picture of the self-employed population using data from the Office for National Statistics.
The latest findings place the economic contribution of the solo self-employed at an estimated £278bn, from a population of 4.1 million solo businesses – over two-fifths (41%) of whom have been working in this way for over 10 years, proving that self-employment can offer a sustainable, rewarding career for millions.
You can read more of the findings from the latest landscape report, published this week, here.
Unlimited, free coworking - coming soon to your membership benefits
This February, IPSE will be adding access to AndCo to its list of member benefits – that means access to over 400 venues, and a great discount on meeting rooms, all included within IPSE membership at no added cost.
The partnership with AndCo opens up workspaces in hotels and other venues with secure, superfast WiFi, saving IPSE members £240 a year.
Keep an eye out for future communications from IPSE about this exciting new partnership, as well as many more to come throughout the year.
Campaigning: The Budget and changes in Whitehall
IPSE is as active as ever in representing its members and the wider self-employed sector in Westminster. Most recently, IPSE submitted to government its vision for boosting the number of people in work by helping them to realise their ambitions for a self-employed venture, ahead of the Spring Budget statement in March.
The submission, which you can read more about here, has reiterated calls for government to reconsider its reversal of the damaging off-payroll working rules and to review Managed Service Company legislation, to provide a more stable operating environment for limited company freelancers, as well as proposing a £15,000 increase to the VAT registration threshold.
This week has also seen the Prime Minister conduct a major reorganisation of key government departments, including what was formerly known as the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. With responsibility for briefs including energy security, net zero, science and technology now sitting in new departments, our hope is that the newly formed ‘Department for Business and Trade’ can dedicate a greater focus to the challenge of supporting millions of the UK’s smallest businesses.
Progress on plans to acknowledge best practice in the umbrella sector
Whilst campaigning for a fairer set of rules for contractor engagements than IR35 remains one of IPSE’s top priorities, swathes of contractors – including very many IPSE members – now find themselves regularly completing assignments via an umbrella company.
With IPSE research laying bare the extent of contractors’ dissatisfaction with their experiences when working inside IR35, your trade body has been working to develop proposals for an umbrella company quality assurance scheme, to help contractors quickly identify those who operate to the highest standards.
IPSE staff have recently met with a cross-section of organisations across the umbrella, agency and recruitment sectors, as well as a focus group of contractors to obtain further feedback on the proposals. We will keep you updated with the progress of this work over the coming months.
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