Community, the union representing many self-employed workers, has cautiously welcomed the Taylor Review as a step towards new rights and protections for freelancers and the self-employed.
Community, in partnership with the co-working cooperative Indycube, has recently launched a new platform to bring the best bits of trade unionism to self-employed workers, along with specialist support, advice and access to Indycube’s network of co-working spaces.
Commenting on the Taylor Review, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“This report rightly recognises that self-employed workers are in need of greater entitlements and security, so this is something we cautiously welcome. However, the lack of detail on this means that government must now agree to consult self-employed workers and trade unions on how best to ensure the self-employed are supported and protected.
“Community has been working with Indycube to give a voice to the self-employed and give them protection they otherwise could not access. With the number of self-employed workers in the UK soon to be greater than the entire public sector, the government must also step up and play their part.
“Our current employment laws and tax structures are not sufficient; they were built for a different era. In one of the world’s most advanced economies, with incredible technology at our fingertips, workers should not have to choose between flexibility and protection at work.
“Although important, trade unions and the labour movement should not simply rely on court judgements to further our aims, but rather seek to work with government, employers and workers to achieve wholesale change in our workplaces and society.
“Matthew Taylor is right to say that too many workers have been left feeling like cogs in a machine rather than human beings. Trade unions should continue organising the self-employed and the gig economy, and should seize this opportunity to work with government and employers to ensure that everyone has access to decent and fair work.”
Mark Hooper, co-founder of Indycube Community, said:
“This report acknowledges that the self-employed are facing new challenges at work. Indycube Community has already begun to help workers face these challenges by offering expert legal advice and representation, specialist support on matters such as contract disputes, copyright law, intellectual property, and shareholder agreements, as well as many other areas relevant to self-employed workers.
“Indycube Community has also begun to deliver a comprehensive invoice factoring service for self-employed workers. We want to end the scourge of late payments and cash flow crises. Late payments currently leave UK small businesses and freelancers £26 billion out of pocket. Government must take this opportunity to support organisations like Indycube Community as we seek to create a fairer, more prosperous economy for all.”