Empowering the Freelance Economy

Can This 5-Point Freelance Manifesto Sway the General Election for Self-Employed Workers?

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A groundbreaking new freelance manifesto has been released advocating for sweeping changes to protect the livelihoods of freelancers and self-employed individuals in the UK. Citing harmful government policies as a key factor in damaging their livelihoods, the manifesto outlines five critical changes aimed at creating a fairer working environment.

The Freelance Manifesto for Growth highlights the critical role of freelancers, contractors, and locums in driving innovation, growth, and flexibility in the UK economy. It emphasises the need to address the challenges faced by the self-employed due to government policies that have undermined their ability to be their own boss.

The five key demands in the manifesto are:

  1. Abolish the Off-payroll IR35 Reforms: These reforms, introduced in 2017 and expanded in 2021, have been widely criticised for their negative impact on businesses, economic growth, and the flexible workforce. The manifesto argues that repealing these reforms would remove a significant barrier to UK growth and restore the rights of self-employed individuals.
  2. Ban Zero-Rights Employment: This practice, which emerged as a result of the poorly drafted Off-payroll rules, classifies contractors as “employees for tax” without granting them any employment rights, leaving them vulnerable and unprotected.
  3. Establish a Taxpayer Bill of Rights: This would legally enshrine some of HMRC’s litigation rules and create an independent taxpayer advocate, providing stronger oversight and ensuring that the rule of law is upheld.
  4. Champion the Self-Employed: The manifesto emphasises the importance of protecting the fundamental human right of individuals to be their own boss, which is often undermined by government decisions and big business.
  5. Regulate Umbrella Companies: The manifesto calls for the regulation of umbrella companies to protect workers from unscrupulous operators who engage in tax theft, avoidance, and evasion.

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Dave Chaplin, CEO of ContractorCalculator and author of the manifesto, said:

“Self-employed people have been the backbone of our economy, but poor Government policymaking has let them down and damaged their livelihoods. It’s time we had a new Government that champions the self-employed rather than punishing them and one that will help restore their right to be their own boss and help deliver much-needed economic growth.”

He further emphasizes the urgency of the manifesto’s demands, stating:

“Our Freelance Manifesto for Growth highlights the urgent need for political parties to act now and secure the votes of the 4.25 million self-employed workers across the UK, then give them what they need to thrive. By implementing five important changes, the next government can demonstrate its commitment to supporting the flexible workforce and fostering economic growth.”

ContractorCalculator has launched the Freelance Manifesto for Growth, calling on political parties to secure the votes of this vital sector of the workforce.

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