New Small Business Minister must make self-employed centre of strategy

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IPSE has responded to the announcement that Andrew Griffiths has been appointed as the new Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility. Welcoming the new Small Business Minister, IPSE is also calling on Mr Griffiths to focus on creating a supportive environment for the UK’s smallest businesses, the self-employed.

For some time now, IPSE’s Freelancer Confidence Index has shown that Government policy is the biggest factor driving down freelancer confidence. IPSE is therefore also calling on Mr Griffiths to work to rebuild the self-employed community’s confidence and trust in the Government.

Simon McVicker, IPSE’s Director of Policy, commented:

Our warmest congratulations to Andrew Griffiths on his appointment as Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility. We now urge Mr Griffiths to build on Margot James’s commendable work and give the self-employed – who contribute £255bn to the economy every year – their deserved place at the centre of his strategy. In particular, Mr Griffiths should ensure that as Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal has real power to crack down on poor practice such as late payment – a serious problem for many of the UK’s self-employed community.

“We also wish to work extremely closely with the new Minister on acting on the recent Taylor Review of Modern Employment Practices, which placed huge emphasis on defining true self-employment and ‘good work’. This is a major area in the Government’s programme and it is essential we build wide-scale agreement around it.

“Undoubtedly, the confidence of the self-employed has taken a dip in the last year, both because of the uncertainties around Brexit and some ill-advised policies from the Government – such as the attempted change to NICs and the introduction of stringent new rules around IR35 in the public sector.  However, Mr Griffiths now has a great opportunity to rebuild trust between the self-employed and the Government. We therefore look forward to working with him to build confidence and create a supportive business environment for this vital sector of the labour force.”


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