Freelance designers could be given more rights and greater security if a “white paper” drafted by the Federation of Small Businesses is taken up the Government. The FSB’s document, The Right to be Self Employed, has been published in response to the successive attempts by the Government to brand self-employed and freelance workers with “employment status” – even if they work for several companies.
It argues that, at present, freelances can be re-classified “employees” at any time by the Inland Revenue because their status is not protected by legislation. As “employees” of several companies, they would have to pay tax and National Insurance at each workplace, and not necessarily benefit from holiday and sick pay.
The FSB wants the status of self-employed people to be set out clearly to remove uncertainty, and for freelances to be given the right to call themselves self-employed.
“It is time that the right to be self-employed is enshrined in legislation, in order to prevent the tinkering with the system which is creating confusion and unfairness,” says FSB Trade and Industry chairman Dr Bernard Juby.
“There is currently nothing in law to say if someone is officially self-employed or not, which gives the Inland Revenue the power to clamp down when it wants in whatever business sector,” he adds. Under the FSB proposals, the onus is on the State to challenge an individual’s status – and on its expenses.
The FSB is sending its “white paper” to the Government and the Inland Revenue with a plea for responses within three months. It is hoping for a result after the next General Election.