Building blocks of the economy – the importance of freelancers

4 Jul

John Brazier, PCG's Managing Director

At PCG, we are committed to creating the best business environment for freelancers.

Therefore as well as grass roots assistance, insurance and networking to name a few benefits, being a PCG member also means having a dedicated lobbying team taking the voice of 20,000 freelancers to parliament.

The expert team call for clarity and consistency on issues such as IR35 directly with the policy makers, and recent lobbying has resulted with a seat on the IR35 Forum to help develop a fairer administration of the tax and to hopefully restrict its impact.

But to be able to achieve recognition for our specific taxation issues and to achieve more going forward, we need businesses and the Government to appreciate what freelancing brings to the UK – its value and importance.

To this aim, the team worked hard to set up the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)  for the freelance sector during 2010 to give freelancers a voice within the House of Commons.

 

The Group is chaired by Brian Binley MP for Northampton South, and MPs from all the main parliamentary parties provide a bridge between Westminster and the UK’s 1.4m freelancers.

It is set up to highlight the contribution which freelancers make to the UK economy and promote the freelance way of working. We are still in the early stages but are beginning to see the fruits of this resource for the freelance community.

Why? Freelancers are too often forgotten in the big business decisions.

As the secretariat for the group, we have called for a roundtable, and assembled MP’s alongside key business leaders this Wednesday the 6th July 2011, to discuss the importance of freelancing to the UK economy.

The APPG can use this roundtable to call on the Government to support freelancers and fully recognise them, rather than awkwardly ‘lumping’ them into different employment definitions.

The Roundtable is an important part of our plans building this year to a crescendo on National Freelancers Day (23rd November) where the focus is very much emphasising and projecting the value of freelancing.

We need you to let us know your thoughts so please get in touch (comment on this blog) and let us know what issues affect you and what you would like highlighted at these meetings and events.

The 6th July meeting will also include a recent report from Professor Andrew Burke on the “economic role of freelance workers in the construction industry.”

This case study will allow us to combine its academic research with our own extensive research and knowledge base to drive the message home that freelancing is crucial to small business growth across all industries and therefore the economy.

I firmly believe that encouraging flexible freelance working will stimulate not stifle the economy and recognition of the unique value of freelancers will encourage a better business environment for them.

This is the future and the key to recovery.Its time everyone else realised this too and I look forward to spreading the message further on the 6th July.

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2 Responses to “Building blocks of the economy – the importance of freelancers”

  1. Miss Contractor September 9, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    It’s great that there are organisations such as yourselves out there fighting for the rights of contractors here in the UK. It worries me that the political parties are out of touch with the contracting industry and I was shocked to recently read of the Lib Dems ambitions to abolish IR35. As a contractor in the fashion industry I have had to figure out what IR35 means for me by seeking the help of financial advisors and accountants. Yes, I’ve had to pay for some of these services but without them I would have been lost and confused. Here’s a great free guide for those of you who are just starting out. If IR35 was abolished and replaced by something I fear I would have to start the whole process again, wasting more of my valuable time and money. Leave it as it is!

  2. CC Member September 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    While there are some benefits to leaving IR35 alone in that PCG members have a very high sucess rate in winning at tribunals, it would be far better to not have the angst of a tribunal in the first place. That is why the PCG is working with the Office of Tax Simplification and more specifically on the IR35 Forum (Google is your friend) to establish a business framework that should see true contractors/freelancers outside the scope of IR35.

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