Call to set 'self-employment' in stone

Creating a uniformly accepted definition of ‘self-employment’ would provide certainty to a host of government reviews -- including one that started yesterday, a freelancing body says.

The definition would offer “joined-up thinking” for the now underway ‘gig economy’ review, and for others, says the body, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

For example, defining the self-employed could prove helpful in the ‘Future of Work’ enquiry, which until Dec 19th is examining the status and rights of self-employed people.

It could also come in handy in a consultation that Autumn Statement 2016 promised on the tax impacts of ‘incorporation’ (when sole traders go ‘Ltd’), and one that it hinted at:

“The government will…consider how the system could be made fairer between workers carrying out the same work under different [tax] arrangements,” the Treasury said at the time. 

In addition, having a definition of self-employment that the government sticks to could extend to simplifying the task of turning a new freelance business model into a proposal, which has been recommended.

IPSE director of policy Simon McVicker said: "An agreed definition of self-employment is essential. Business and government need certainty over what self-employment is, otherwise confusion will remain."


Dec 1, 2016
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