Freelancing body changes its name to 'IPSE'

The UK’s contracting trade body has reassured that a change of name will not interfere with its ongoing mission to support independent professionals, such as freelancers.

Speaking yesterday, the PCG said it had now evolved into the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, or ‘IPSE’ for short.

The organisation told members it chose the acronym because, as well as having a “nice ring” to it, IPSE - pronounced ‘ip-say’ - is Latin for ‘self,’ making it fitting for who they represent.

“We’ve taken this step in order to be better able [to] represent all professionals working in the UK’s growing self-employed sector,” said Julie Steward, chair of IPSE, who was also chair of PCG.

“By next year, the number of self-employed people in Britain is predicted to outnumber those working in the public sector. Individuals in business on their own account need representation and with our history fighting for freelancers and contractors, we are the right organisation to step up to this challenge.”

The name change represents a “significant transformation” -- indeed, “we aren’t simply changing PCG’s name,” members were told, “we have created an identity that will be truly representative of our industry and people who work independently.”

Despite the changes, Ms Stewart said the organisation would continue to serve its members, and the cause of its non-members.

IPSE even has its own aims – to make self-employment central to the economic debate in government and to ensure policies are ‘freelancer-friendly.’

But its accompanying mission statement is straight out of PCG’s original manifesto. With emphasis, the chair explained that the non-profit organisation “will continue to support all freelancers, contractors, independent professionals and the self-employed from all areas of the economy.”

As well as reassuring, Ms Stewart used the launch of IPSE to remind policy-makers that they could be doing more to support the 15% of the UK’s workforce who have set out to work for themselves.

“It is time Government truly recognised the dramatic shift in the way we work in the UK,” she said. “While there’s never been a better time to work independently, much can be done to create a level playing field for the people brave enough to go it alone.”

Sep 2, 2014
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