'Sign IR35, loan charge and late payment petitions'

Three online petitions against the government are calling contractors to lend their support on a trio of different issues.

Closing the soonest -- November 3rd 2018, and needing the most support in the shortest timeframe is, ‘Stop the Loan Charge 2019 from being applied retrospectively.’

Petitions on the parliament website trigger a government response at 10,000 signatures, and a parliamentary debate at 100,000. But currently, the loan charge petition has fewer than 4,000.

Behind it, with around 2,250 signatures and in response to the public sector’s April 2017 Off-Payroll framework, is ‘Give full rights to workers classed as employed for tax purposes.’  

This petition is due to remain open until March 2019 -- the eve of the earliest floated start date for the framework to be enforced in the private sector too.

“Parliament must ensure self-employed workers cannot be classed as ‘employed for tax purposes’ without receiving full employment rights,” states the petition, posted last week.

The third petition, also live since Thursday, tackles an even more age-old foe for contractors than IR35, as it calls to ‘Establish penalties against companies for systematic late payment’.  

“Freelancers make up 15% of the UK workforce, yet there has been little change in legislation to support this shift,” says the petition, signed by 526 supporters.

“In particular the lack of appropriate legislation around payment terms gives freelancers little practical power to ensure terms are enforced -- resulting in serious cashflow issues.”

Also due to run until March, the petition calls taking non-payers to court “costly and time-consuming,” and says late payment fines are “inadequate” and not a cashflow fix.

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