Its not going away, so live with it Its not going away, so live with it
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Its not going away, so live with it

    This may have been considered before, so my apologies if my search didn't find it and I'm repeating myself, BUT....

    Up till now, there have been lots of efforts to slow or stop IR35 and the changes to it that are happening in April, but nothing looks like putting the politicians off.
    OK, so rather than wail and gnash our teeth, we should find a way of working with the new rules.

    The problem is that with thousands of contractors doing BAU work, there is some truth in the "disguised employment" claim (yeah, OK that's sacrilegious, but see it through a career politician's eyes.)

    So those of us who can, need to emphasise that we are on project-based work, as we have been since before IR35 came along. That's an easy thing to say, but the difficulty comes when you consider marketing. We have effectively left marketing our skills to agents, who have got progressively more controlling and limiting, and who have pushed us into non B2B operation (like self billing, and inaccurate project descriptions) for their own benefit.

    Here's an idea: Why don't we go direct to our customers, build relationships, use enabling contracts and project-based, fixed price schedules? That puts us well clear of IR35, and allows us to continue to serve industry, essential now Brexit has changed the market for ever. It will take time, but that's something we have plenty of: it will be a year at least before the ripples of this change start to settle.

    The biggest problem that I can see (apart from the need to develop marketing skills, which as adaptable freelancers, we should be able to do) is having the contacts to aim the marketing at. I have a good number of contacts, but even after 20-odd years, I'm going to be working hard to get to the right people.

    We need a central repository of consumers and producers (Customers and Freelancers), a kind of clearing house where we, or customers can flag needs and opportunities, a kind of job-board for freelancers, with the customers' requirements and freelancers' capabilities documented.

    Then, if, for example, I know of an opportunity that I can't tae, but needs to be filled, I can post it up and give another freelancer the opportunity to contact the customer direct. Or if a customer wants to source a freelancer, he can post up his project for freelancers to bid for.

    We need something to act as a replacement for the existing agency set up, allowing us to go direct with appropriate contracts and working arrangements. Thus we would protect our "self-employed freelancer" status properly, comply with the regulations, and simultaneously counteract their destructive effect on British industry.

    Wild dream, or possible solution? I don't know, but all it needs is something like a bulletin board (phpBB3 comes to mind) with appropriate groupings, and a willingness of contractors to help each other. I have a server with some spare MIPS....

    Actually, that may be the breaking point for this idea: we are all very individualistic and don't work as a team (union?) because that's not who we are. Then again, in the face of the government destroying our industry and other industries' agility and capability, perhaps its time to reconsider our solo performances.
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  2. #2

    Fingers like lightning

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    Go on, off you go then... but do come back to us and let us all know how you got on.
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    Former member of IPSE.


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    Many a mickle makes a muckle.

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  3. #3

    I Am Legend


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    reconsider our solo performances.
    One out, all out!
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  4. #4

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    You're doing exactly what so many others that have suggested similar "solutions" have done - looked at it from the contractors point of view only.

    The supply chain, as it is today, exists because it works for clients. Look at it from the clients point of view, and come back and write up what the solution would be.

    You're actually taking about (re)creating an agency model.
    Last edited by Paralytic; 25th February 2020 at 08:59.

  5. #5

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    Isn't it funny that these solutions are only trotted out at IR35 problem times. Permietractors trying to come up with ideas to bypass something that's been around 20 years. Ideas that contractors that understanding what they do have been chopping away at from day one.

    Can this one be closed as per Cojaks update?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 25th February 2020 at 09:58.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  6. #6

    Nervous Newbie


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    OK, close it, then....with the number of negatives it's getting, that's the best thing to do....but unless someone suggests something better, a purely negative reaction is not going to get anyone out of the hole we're in.

    If I'm wrong, don't just tell me I'm wrong, tell me how your idea is better. Get up off your asses and do what contractors do: find a solution. This may not be it....fine....tell me what you think IS the solution or STFU

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    You're doing exactly what so many others that have suggested similar "solutions" have done - looked at it from the contractors point of view only.

    The supply chain, as it is today, exists because it works for clients. Look at it from the clients point of view, and come back and write up what the solution would be.

    You're actually taking about (re)creating an agency model.
    Well, at least you have come back with a positive suggestion....Thanks

  8. #8

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    OK, close it, then....with the number of negatives it's getting, that's the best thing to do....but unless someone suggests something better, a purely negative reaction is not going to get anyone out of the hole we're in.

    If I'm wrong, don't just tell me I'm wrong, tell me how your idea is better. Get up off your asses and do what contractors do: find a solution. This may not be it....fine....tell me what you think IS the solution or STFU
    Maybe you should have started proposing ideas sometime last year, not 6 weeks before it hits as well.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  9. #9

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    This may have been considered before...
    Well, yes of course frameworks have been considered before. None have materialised as yet. Doesn't mean its a bad idea though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    The problem is that with thousands of contractors doing BAU work, there is some truth in the "disguised employment" claim (yeah, OK that's sacrilegious, but see it through a career politician's eyes.)
    I don't think BAU work is a signifier of disguised employment. Contracting is defined by its temporary nature. The freelancer fulfills a temporary need. It might be designing a network for a special project, or just doing BAU work in order to free up a permy to design the new network, or while somebody is ill or pregnant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    Here's an idea: Why don't we go direct to our customers, build relationships, use enabling contracts and project-based, fixed price schedules?
    Great. You would probably have to employ somebody to do this, like a salesman. You can't do it, and at the same time be contributing daily to the Linux kernel, or being a general technical whizz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    We need a central repository of consumers and producers (Customers and Freelancers), a kind of clearing house where we, or customers can flag needs and opportunities, a kind of job-board for freelancers, with the customers' requirements and freelancers' capabilities documented.
    Such repositories do exist. They haven't taken over the world so far. I guess because the human element is missing: marketing, sales, advertising, phoning, persuading - a role instead filled by agencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo54 View Post
    Wild dream, or possible solution? I don't know, but all it needs is something like a bulletin board (phpBB3 comes to mind) with appropriate groupings, and a willingness of contractors to help each other. I have a server with some spare MIPS....
    Think of it from the customer's point of view. Suppose you want your driveway tarmacked, and you are looking for a trusted contractor to do it. Would you be happy to choose one from a bulletin board ? How can you know who to trust ? Not arguing with the notion here, just the implementation.

  10. #10

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    The solution - widely understood on our side of the fence - is for clients to take on resources to deliver specifc solutions, not general purpose dogsbodies for a period of time to do whaytever needs doing. If you're going to accept that kind of work then you are going to be inside IR35 and arguably that is the right place to be - disregarding the very valid argument about employment rights.

    If you work as a supplier of specific skills, be it something technical or managerial, then IR35 simply doesn't apply because you are a business providing a service.

    So now the challenge is to persuade clients used to the agencies' vision of commoditised manpower resources that they need to change their practices and treat the knowledge economy in the same way they treat their cleaners, couriers and cloud service providers.

    So how do we do that? One option is to wait six months or so and all the panic-driven PSC-avoiders will realise their smarter competitors are hoovering up the good guys and getting things done while their IBM/Wipro/Infosys/whatever consultancies are charging an arm and a leg for worse performance.

    HTH...
    Blog? What blog...?

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