Dependent contractor status 'would add to the confusion'

The UK’s contractor trade body has elaborated on its reservations about the Taylor Review’s ‘dependent contractor’ proposal.

Writing for Labour List magazine, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed said the proposed category would “just add to the confusion in the gig economy”.

The association had already said that the new category, floated to replace the current category of ‘worker,’ appears to be too “reductive”, for only seeking to look at Direction and Control.

But in its magazine article, IPSE said another issue is that ‘dependent contractor’ “doesn’t actually do much to help either” the vulnerable -- or the genuinely self-employed.

“Although a nice idea on paper,” wrote the association’s Tristan Grove, “replacing the worker category with a new alternative would just add to the confusion in the gig economy.

“If Labour really wants to tackle exploitation in the gig economy, there is only one real solution… Labour should argue the case for a clear, statutory definition of self-employment.”

Grove says the absence of a definition allows some “unscrupulous” businesses to wrongfully claim their workers are self-employed, thereby denying them legal rights and protections.

He believes creating a statutory definition of self-employment would clear up the confusion over proving status; let bogus self-employment be tackled and permit the flexibility of legitimate one-person businesses be protected.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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