Consultants, freelancers, contractors and others who are self-employed are all being encouraged to sign a petition to prevent ‘irrevocable damage to their flexible working arrangements and to protect their rights.’

This petition is the brainchild of ContractorCalculator and is devised to aid government to be reasonable and abandon the Off-Payroll working tax that it is arranging to introduce into the private sector.

It is expected that the reforms will bring in rules that allow companies to classify their workers as employees for tax purposes but will not offer those workers employment rights. If the rules are introduced it will be akin to introducing a 15 percent tax on the self-employed whilst permitting firms to offer no employment rights to their contractors.

It is claimed that the changes oppose government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ which is aimed at preventing unscrupulous firms from forcing low-paid and vulnerable workers into unreliable work.

The rules have been introduced into the public sector for a year and have already had a damaging impact on public services and individual’s livelihoods. Numerous low paid workers found themselves being classified as employees purely for tax purposes whilst they have few employment rights. In the NHS locum nurses have lost around a third of their post-tax income whilst they do not have even the most basic of employment rights.

Dave Chaplin of ContractorCalculator said it is absurd that the Government is contemplating a bigger rollout of the harmful legislation. He then went on to say that its consultation states that where an individual is working, in exactly the same way as an employee, they ought to pay the same employment taxes as an employee.