The trade union, Community, and Indycube, a co-working social enterprise which provides low cost desk space to self-employed workers, have launched a new partnership to provide services, representation, and a collective voice, for all self-employed workers across the UK.
In hundreds of years of trade union history, the new partnership is the first of its kind, and will offer bespoke services to all 5 million of the UK’s self-employed workers. The partnership is the product of months of work by Indycube and Community during which time it became clear that despite millions of self-employed people needing help and support at work, trade unions were simply not equipped to meet their needs.
The new platform, branded as ‘Indycube Community’, offers all the best parts of Community’s traditional trade union support such as expert legal advice and representation, but with additional 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 will also offer business advice for starts up and freelancers, covering everything from invoicing and tax returns, to insurance and health & safety.
One major benefit which Indycube Community will deliver for self-employed workers is a comprehensive invoice factoring service, 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. Invoice factoring services are normally only available to large, well established companies, but using the collective strength of their members, Indycube Community will give independent workers the security of always being paid on time.
Members of Indycube Community will also have access to Indycube’s existing network of 30 co-working sites, which provide low cost desk space as well as facilities such as creative studios and workshops. While most of Indycube’s existing sites are in Wales, additional sites will open across the whole of the UK in the coming year.
John Park, Assistant General Secretary of Community, said:
“This partnership between Community and Indycube will support self-employed workers like never before. We are taking the best bits of traditional trade unionism and making them relevant to modern, independent workers, and delivering them through an innovative online platform.
“Millions of people in the UK survive in precarious self-employment; Indycube Community has the potential to give real power and control to those workers, just as Community has done in traditional industries for centuries. We are proud of our heritage, but we know that to stay relevant we must meet the challenges of the modern world of work.”
Mark Hooper, founder and co-director of Indycube, said:
“For several years, Indycube has supported independent workers by providing low cost spaces to work, collaborate and socialise. Our partnership with Community is the next step in our journey and will give self-employed workers a collective voice and access to support and services that would normally be out of their reach.
“Whether someone is self-employed, a freelancer, or working in the gig economy, Indycube Community will help make their working world better. No one has tried this before, and we are really excited about working to give support, representation and guidance to the millions of people in Britain who work independently.”
Click here to find out more and to join Indycube Community.