IPSE: 'a better name to represent self employed'

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Self employed people looking for the group PCG may have noticed that the company has changed its name to IPSE.

The new acronym stands for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. IPSE says that the name change is intended to make the group better able to represent all self employed people working in the UK, including limited companies, sole traders and people who want to be their own boss.

This change comes at a time when the number of self employed people in the UK has accelerated to a point that percentage of those working in this manner is the highest it has been for the past 40 years. The increase has been at its strongest over the last ten years.

According to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of self employed people in the UK reached 4.59 million in July. What's more, the amount of self employed professionals is set to overtake those that are working in the public sector.

In a statement, chairman of IPSE Julie Stewart said: "The way we work in the UK has changed almost beyond recognition in the last decade. Every month thousands of people are waking up to the benefits that come with starting a business and IPSE will be there to ensure they are supported and protected every step of the way.

"Self-employment is the zeitgeist. It has grown by an astonishing 39 per cent since 2000 and has outstripped growth in traditional employment by three to one in the last decade."

The group has close to 22,000 members and lobbies the government for greater inclusion of self employed people in economic debates. It has called for policies to be put in place to make it easier for those who are already self employed and those who are considering choosing this way of working.

In terms of how the change is set to affect members of the group, Ms Stewart said: "This change is a significant transformation, but we will continue to provide our members with the same best-in-class services and knowledge base that we do today."

Indeed, the mission statement of IPSE was included in the original manifesto for PCG and Ms Stewart confirmed that the group would continue to support all freelancers, contractors, independent professionals and others who are self employed.

Part of the reason for the increase in the number of people who are self employed is due to the fact that there have been fewer opportunities to move away from this method of working since the economic downturn. This was because a large number of jobs were cut and the number of opportunities available for people to become an employee fell.

Nevertheless, a number of people choose to become self employed due to preference, thanks to the freedom to select jobs that best fit the worker and to choose their hours according to what suits them.

The UK has seen the third highest rise in the portion of self employed people in the European Union, having seen an increase of 18.8 per cent.

By Victoria McDonnell

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