Contractor body calls to define self-employment

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Creating a uniformly accepted definition of “self-employment” would provide certainty to a host of government reviews, says IPSE, including a new one announced just last week.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) believes the definition would give “joined-up thinking” about such workers, who the OTS cited on Friday.

The citation came in a new “focus paper” on the gig economy, aimed at “promoting debate” about the “tax issues thrown up” by the economy, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) said.

This latest probe – which anyone can contribute to by sending their comments – represents at least the fourth recently announced government enquiry into such atypical workers.

The others are; Matthew Taylor’s review of modern work practices, the Future of Work inquiry; a consultation on incorporation and a review of tax arrangements for similar workers.

“There must be joined-up thinking from all government departments on how the 4.8 million people who work for themselves are treated,” says IPSE’s policy director Simon McVicker.

“An agreed definition of self-employment is essential. Business and government need certainty over what self-employment is, otherwise confusion will remain.”

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