National Freelancers Day backed by MP

Friday 14 November 2014

The upcoming National Freelancers Day, set to be held on November 19th, has been given backing from a notable figure in politics.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP has given his approval for the event, which he hopes will further put hard working freelancers across the country in the spotlight.

Organised by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), National Freelancers Day is now in its sixth year, with the aim of celebrating the rise of freelance workers, including limited company contractors, umbrella company contractors and sole traders, and providing a “nurturing environment” for these individuals.

Mr Umunna noted that more and more people have been opting to take the self-employment route over the past few years and it is often the best way for people to achieve their personal goals and dreams. However, he has noted certain difficulties faced by contractors and freelancers that should be solved to make it easier for people to work on their own terms.

“[There] are still many challenges facing self-employed people which must be tackled such as bureaucracy and late payment, while at the same time self-employed people have seen their income fall more in the last four years than those in employment,” he observed.

He went on to offer his support for the National Freelancers Day event, noting that self-employed workers make a “huge contribution” to the UK PLC.

The main hub of this year’s celebrations will be found at London’s Tech City. A number of government officials, business leaders and successful freelance workers will be in attendance, offering their own experiences, as well as the future of policy to help make life easier for the estimated five million self-employed workers across the UK.

Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE, has expressed his hope that this year’s event will be the biggest one yet, putting more attention on freelancers and contractors and the hard work they offer.

“It’s fantastic that the Shadow Business Secretary is backing the day and it’s greatly encouraging that he understands the huge contribution freelancers make to the economy year on year,” he said.

Of course, London won’t be the only city in the country marking the event. Manchester will be hosting an event at the DWF Offices at the heart of the city, delivered by Brookson and Kingsbridge Professional Solutions.

Here, freelancers and contractors will be able to view a live feed of the London event and can pose their own questions to the panel. There will be drinks and canapes available and attendees will have an opportunity to network with other professionals.

Edinburgh will also be welcoming self-employed workers at the DWF offices in Lochrin Square with a much similar offering.

There are several issues the IPSE is highlighting during the event, in the hope that more help and support will be provided in the future for people choosing to be their own boss.

For example, in addition the minister for small businesses, the IPSE has called for the government to appoint a minister for self-employment. It is hoped such a position will give self-employed workers a greater voice.

By Victoria McDonnell

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