Backing your business and speaking up for freelancers - CEO Update April 2023


This past winter, the world of work has been dominated by the latest iteration of the age-old struggle between workers and their employers, with strike action across the public sector, labour shortages, attempts by companies to roll back on hybrid working practices, and growing calls for a four-day week.

As interesting as these flashpoints may be, they’re often ones which overlook the self-employed. That’s why, with our status as the only not-for-profit organisation dedicated exclusively to the self-employed, it’s as important as ever for IPSE to continue beating the drum for self-employment, using our authority in Westminster and the media to make our members’ voices heard where they might otherwise not be.

The voice of freelancing and renewing the fight against IR35

Unfortunately, we can’t always guarantee those voices will be listened to; and, in the case of government’s recent Spring Budget, it was profoundly disappointing to see no mention of the self-employed in a so-called ‘back to work’ Budget, despite our calls for catered measures to boost this flexible sector of the workforce.

But this glaring oversight – and our critical response to it – did not go unnoticed, with IPSE’s post-Budget reaction receiving dedicated coverage in the Telegraph.

And, we continue to draw similar traction for our expertise of – and campaigning against – the woeful IR35 legislation, offering commentary to the Financial Times on revelations that IR35 tax receipts are set to double previous estimates, as well as recent TV star tax cases.

This comes as our inaugural Annual IR35 Survey closed for submissions in March, receiving a total of 1,500 submissions – a fantastic response from our contractor community which will deliver a huge boost to our authoritative programme of research into the impact this legislation has had on contracting.

Making it cheaper and easier to run your business

This year, we’re revamping and repositioning what IPSE offers to freelancers and contractors like you.

If you’re an IPSE member, you may have already made use of one of the hundreds of venues offered by AndCo, following the launch of our partnership with the workspace provider.

Now, we’re preparing to launch a brand new business toolkit for our members, at no added cost; ‘The Business Hub’, brought to you by Markel Tax and Markel Law, will bring hundreds of guides, templates and legal documents together in one place, as well as a business health check service, debt recovery support, and other resources to help you deal with the situations that self-employment can throw at you.

Be sure to refresh your knowledge of what an IPSE membership can give you today, and sign up to our newsletter to be first to hear about other exciting new benefits throughout the rest of 2023.

Connecting you to your freelance community

We’re constantly creating new opportunities to connect IPSE members with one another – whether that’s to help members grow and expand their networks, pick up helpful tips for running their business, or to socialise with other business owners who can relate to the unique challenges of being self-employed.

The latest way we are doing this is through our expert member-led ‘Success Sessions’, which I highly recommend members consider making use of. These short, free mentoring sessions with other IPSE members could be the thing that helps you solve that issue you’ve been stuck on for months, or the fresh perspective you needed to help you improve your service offer.

Similarly, if you are a member and happy to give up some of your time and expertise to help other freelancers and contractors in membership, I encourage you to fill in this form and one of our team will be in touch.

And the IPSE Freelancer Awards are back on Thursday 6 July 2023, including a new award recognising the ‘IPSE Member of the Year’ to recognise those who have given back most to fellow members. The awards ceremony will be hosted at the spectacular Landing Forty Two – the UK’s highest dedicated events space situated on the 42nd floor of ‘The Cheesegrater’, central London.

An IPSE award can make a great addition to your CV, so do take a look at the categories and consider putting yourself forward.

MSC investigations – get IPSE protection before it’s too late

Since Managed Service Company enforcement reared its head this time last year, IPSE has closely supported its members affected by the activity and built a hub of information dedicated to helping others understand this hitherto uncontroversial legislation.

One year on, with a much clearer understanding of the situation, we want to be unequivocal about the risk these investigations could pose for contractors who access accountancy services. The members we’re supporting have been blindsided by tax bills totalling tens of thousands of pounds and, like you, were only ever interested in complying with tax rules.

But there are some who have been, I am sorry to say, unable to make use of IPSE’s tax investigation insurance as they didn’t seek cover until after their MSC determination arrived – although we are offering what support we can with regular meetings and Q&As with tax specialists from Markel Tax.

We want to get the word out and minimise the risk that you might have to face an MSC investigation alone; if you do not hold IPSE tax investigation insurance at the moment you become subject to an MSC investigation, you will not be able to make a claim – even if you held cover during the tax year the investigation is concerned with.

Beyond urging contractors to get protected and minimise their risk, we’re also preparing to raise Managed Service Companies up the agenda around Westminster. We have already begun to correspond and meet with MPs to discuss what’s happening, and soon we’ll be asking for your help in making your MP alive to the crisis that HMRC is walking the contracting and accountancy services sectors into.

Upcoming events

IPSE organises, supports and collaborates on over 100 events every year, from practical webinars, networking events and conferences. IPSE sources experts in their field to support the self-employed, with the events covering a wide range of topics.

Upcoming events


IPSE fights for what is right for you and your business. We campaign to Government and industry leaders to build a better world so you can grow your business and be happy and healthy in your everyday life.

IPSE Campaign hub

IPSE blog

Read the latest opinion pieces from self-employment experts: including our policy and research team.

Read more

Meet the author

Derek Cribb.jpg
Derek Cribb


More on