IPSE is proud to represent the needs of the whole self-employed community

We wanted to tell you about some important developments at IPSE and how we are continuing to fight your corner on IR35 and other issues during the Coronavirus crisis.

Campaigning

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, we have been campaigning hard to get support for all parts of the self-employed and contracting community – particularly limited companies and the newly self-employed.

We have written to the Chancellor urging support for limited companies, warned the Treasury Select Committee about the lack of help available and, just this week, we and Edinburgh University have published research shedding light on this crucial problem.

We want to reassure you that we are also continuing to push hard on the other issues we know matter to you – particularly IR35. The disastrous changes to IR35 have been delayed because of Coronavirus. We are now pushing for them to be not only delayed, but scrapped altogether. The House of Lords review of the changes to IR35 was published just over a month ago. The review, which we played an important part in, gave a damning assessment of IR35, saying it was “riddled with problems, unfairnesses and unintended consequences.”

We will continue to raise awareness about – and find opportunities to undermine – the changes to IR35. We’ve now seen just how damaging this legislation would be to the flexible labour market. If the government wants this vital section of the workforce to help kickstart the economy after Coronavirus, it must not undermine it with the changes to IR35. This is the message IPSE will be taking to the government.

Umbrella company cover

We know that because of the proposed changes to IR35, many IPSE members have now been pushed into working through umbrella companies. Although these changes have now been delayed by a year, many contractors are still stuck in these umbrella arrangements.

At IPSE, we are working hard to get the message out to clients that they don’t need to use umbrella contracts anymore. In the meantime, however, we have updated our Plus membership package to include umbrella companies. Now, if you’re an IPSE Plus member, you can rest assured if there are problems with your umbrella company, you’ll still get paid.

Freelance Corner

One thing we have seen more clearly than ever during the Coronavirus crisis is just how diverse the self-employed sector is.

The self-employed are spread across almost every sector, and there are even stark differences in the ways they do business. There are sole traders, most of whom benefit from the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, but there are also limited companies, who don’t (and we are pushing the government to urgently get you the support you need).

While there are many differences among the self-employed community, there are many common challenges too – from late payment and navigating the tax system, to access to finance and saving for later life.

At IPSE, it’s our aim to represent all self-employed people: not only by helping them to tackle these common challenges, but also by making sure our membership offers bespoke support with the particular challenges that different groups face.  

That is why we are launching Freelance Corner, a platform to support the needs of freelancers and sole traders (focused particularly on the creative, entrepreneur and digital communities).

This platform will support people through all the twists and turns of the freelance journey – from the excitement of setting up a new business to expanding and searching out new audiences. Members of the platform will also have access to three support packages that mirror the IPSE membership packages: Freelance “Essentials”, Freelance “Protect Your Business” and Freelance “Ultimate”.

If any of your friends or colleagues are creative freelancers, entrepreneurs or digital professionals that could benefit from the Freelance Corner platform, help us and help them by spreading the word.

Broadening our membership base will not only help IPSE to be the true voice of all the UK’s self-employed: it will also increase our influence in government. It opens doors and makes us harder to ignore. It helps us lobby more effectively on the issues that really matter to you, like IR35, late payment and access to public sector contracts.

2020 might have got off to an uncertain and troubling start, but IPSE is determined to end the year stronger than ever, fighting for the self-employed in the corridors of power and delivering the services and products our members need for success.

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IPSE
IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.