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IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has demanded greater clarification of what ‘self-employment’ means and a more positive definition of it.

Are You (Truly) Self-Employed?

While you may think it’s obvious whether someone is self-employed or not, IPSE has pointed out that there is no statutory definition – and that there needs to be.

Giving evidence to the review of modern employment being undertaken for the Government by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, IPSE called for a statutory definition of self-employment to end confusion about who is and isn’t self-employed.

“To be an employee is defined in statute, as is being a worker. But, somehow, to be self-employed is the default for everything else,” points out Simon McVicker, IPSE Director of Policy.

IPSE is concerned that this ‘default’ position carries with it an air of negativity and creates confusion.

“We want a positive definition so the genuinely self-employed have peace of mind and unscrupulous companies cannot exploit the confusion and push people into false self-employment,” said Simon Vicker.

The group also wants to see the development of maternity, paternity and childcare support for self-employed people, and would like them to be encouraged and supported to invest in pensions, saving and ongoing training.

IPSE: Our Four Criteria for Defining Self-Employment

IPSE has created four criteria for defining self-employment:

  1. Having autonomy in their work.For freelancers, this means the ability to send substitutes. There is also no requirement to do work outside what is agreed.
  2. Having control over working arrangements. Self-employed people are able to decide how to complete their tasks and the hours and location they choose to work in.
  3. Taking on business risk.The self-employed take responsibility for their finance and tax responsibilities and can be paid on a per-task basis.
  4. Level of independence from clients.This would include things such as having to wear a uniform or using your own tools and equipment to complete your work.

If you’re self-employed, would you like to see a greater recognition and more positive presentation of self-employment? Do you agree with IPSE’s definitions of self-employment? Let us know your thoughts.



About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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