A message from the CEO

Wherever you are, I hope you are settling in for a happy and stress-free Christmas – far removed from the twists and turns of 2019. Because there’s no doubt it has been a turbulent year, in politics and in the world of self-employment.

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2019 saw the fall and rise of governments, new parties forming and disappearing like a flash in the pan, old parties crumbling, and Brexit deadline after Brexit deadline slipping away. At the start of the year, the self-employed sector was struggling with not only fears about the risk of a no deal Brexit, but also the prospect of the disastrous changes to IR35 being extended to the private sector.

Against this daunting backdrop, IPSE rallied to fight your corner. In the election, we ran a hugely successful campaign. Our #5millionvotes drive raised awareness about the vital importance of the self-employed – and got all four main parties to pledge to review IR35.

It was an astonishing win and we will be holding the Conservatives to their promise now. We will also push hard to halt the April 2020 roll-out of the changes to IR35 while a full and independent review is carried out. In the new year, you can be sure we have your back.

5 goals for the new year

  • IR35: We understand how worried the self-employed are about IR35. Halting the April 2020 roll-out and holding the Conservatives to a full and independent review will be our first priority in the new year.
  • Brexit: There is now a majority in parliament to support the Prime Minister’s deal and leave the European Union. But that is not the end of the negotiations. It will be our priority to make your voice heard and get a fair deal for freelancers when the government seeks a new arrangement with the EU.
  • Late payment: Late payment is the scourge of the self-employed. We’ve already got the government to pledge it will give new powers to the Small Business Commissioner to clamp down on it. In the new year we will make sure this becomes a reality and that the Small Business Commissioner can name and shame and even fine the worst offenders.
  • Financial wellbeing: During the election, our #5millionvotes manifesto called for more measures to tackle the self-employed pension savings crisis – and open up access to other financial products like mortgages. We are also calling on government to simplify the tax system and make it easier for freelancers to navigate. Altogether, in 2020 we’re going on a major drive to improve freelancers’ financial wellbeing.  
  • Parental leave: Another major part of our manifesto was parental rights for freelancers. In the new year, we’re going to push hard for full maternity pay for the self-employed – as well as paternity leave and Shared Parental Leave. It’s only fair and just that freelancers have the same parental rights as employees.

The self-employed were a vital force in the recent election, and we’re going to make sure the new government recognises that. Across everything from IR35 to maternity pay, you can be sure that in 2020, we’ll fight for a fair deal for freelancers.  

Wherever you are, have a peaceful and happy Christmas, and rest assured that IPSE will have your back in the new year.

Kind regards,

Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE


Meet the author

Chris Bryce

Chief Executive

Chris was one of the original 2,000 members of the organisation when it was formed as the Professional Contractors Group in 1999 and was a long-time contractor with a strong client base in global scale change management.

Before becoming a contractor Chris had a career in sales and marketing followed by 10 years in senior management in the logistics industry. Chris was appointed as Interim CEO in June 2013 and accepted the role permanently in December 2013.