MPs vow to crush freelancing 'myths'

MPs representing all the main political parties will challenge the “myths and assumptions” surrounding freelance contracting and the freelance community as a whole.

Issuing the pledge, Brian Binley, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on freelancing, said addressing its false perceptions was a task that he and the group’s members were committed to.

Pleasing industry captains at the APPG’s first roundtable, the Tory MP hinted his work would not be isolated, by saying all civil servants across Whitehall would be challenged to “better understand” freelancers.

The findings are expected to inform the group’s raison d’être – to spell out the economic case for freelancing with a view to defining the role freelancers can play in the recovery.

“Freelancers do a tremendous job for the UK economy, creating a flexible workforce which can provide specialist expertise at short notice,” Mr Binley said.

“[But] they are often over looked by policy makers and the current IR35 taxation system is a prime example of that.”

The results are expected to reveal to the APPG’s industry captains, such as PCG’s John Brazier and REC’s Kevin Green, why freelancers fail to win their fair share of official recognition and support.

One panel member, Andrew Burke, from the Cranfield School of Management, says “the lack of appreciation” freelancers suffer, at least compared to employees and employers, stems from a shortage of research on the economic status of freelancers.

Cue a new study on the subject that will report by November of this year, in addition to the APPG’s report, which will seek to raise awareness of freelancing in government and among policymakers.





22nd July 2011

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