IPSE highlights lack of coronavirus suppport and threat of IR35 at the London Assembly

This week IPSE’s Andy Chamberlain spoke to the London Assembly Economy Committee about the challenges facing London’s 870,000 self-employed population. Covid-19 understandably dominated the agenda and Andy was able to highlight IPSE’s recent research into just how badly self-employed people have been impacted.

IPSE's Andy Chamberlain on IR35 and the lack of Covid support for freelancers

IPSE's Andy Chamberlain on IR35 and the lack of Covid support for freelancers


Andy was clear that limited company contractors are being hit doubly hard because of the combination of a lack of support during the lockdown and the looming changes to the way IR35 works in the private sector – due to come into force in April next year.

While certain sections of the self-employed are able to access the government’s generous income support scheme, millions are excluded – including those who work through their own limited company. Company directors have been largely left to fend for themselves, and thousands who have been unable to work during the pandemic have had to rely on their own saving or borrowing to make ends meet.

IPSE's Andy Chamberlain on the gaps in self-employed coronavirus support

IPSE's Andy Chamberlain on the gaps in self-employed coronavirus support


Andy pointed out that struggling contractors now looking to pick up work face a huge barrier in the shape of the IR35 changes, which for many could put an end to their contracting careers.

Londoners have been specifically affected. Not only do a disproportionate number of self-employed businesses operate in London: IR35 has already had a well-publicised and devasting impact on the financial services sector, with many London-based banks refusing to hire contractors as a result of the impending changes.

IPSE urged the London Assembly to lobby the government to do more to help those excluded from the Covid support packages and reverse its approach to IR35.

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