Empowering the Freelance Economy

Chaplin on PM resignation: UK economy’s greatest asset is its highly skilled freelance workforce, but Tory party has been anti-business for far too long

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OPINION

By Dave Chaplin, CEO, IR35 Shield

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s resignation, Dave Chaplin, CEO of tax compliance firm IR35 Shield offers his thoughts on how the freelance economy in Britain has been impacted since the Tory party has been in power.

Dave Chaplin

Today’s resignation by Boris Johnson must now be a turning point for the Conservatives to win back trust and appoint a leader surrounded by ministers who genuinely want to level the playing field and work with small businesses and freelancers to help them to thrive.

The UK economy’s greatest asset is its highly skilled freelance workforce and for far too long, the Tory party and government that purports to support and celebrate entrepreneurship have interfered in the form of onerous employment and tax legislation that is stressful to navigate for freelancers and the firms that hire them.

The Off-payroll reforms that were rolled out into the private sector in April 2021, and introduced by the Conservative Government, are anti-business and are creating a very negative behavioural effect for UK plc.  Many contractors who can work remotely are now turning their backs on the UK, and just working remotely for overseas firms, making it much harder for UK firms to secure the talent they need to grow. And UK firms are pushing work offshore.

The best way to stimulate economic growth is for government to stop legislating and step aside, allowing businesses to embrace the benefits of the flexible workforce and contractors and freelancers the freedom to contract.

Whilst the new incoming PM will have a lot on his or her plate, I would urge him or her to acknowledge that highly-skilled, flexible knowledge workers who deliver their services on an as-needed basis enable UK businesses to grow faster and help entrepreneurs instantly ‘skill up’ their workforces to take advantage of new opportunities.

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