The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has called for a statutory definition of self-employment to end the confusion around self-employment and make working for yourself more attractive. The call came in IPSE’s official response to the Taylor Review, which is investigating modern employment practices.

IPSE appeared at one of Matthew Taylor’s panel sessions in March, and has now made an official response to the review. In this response, the organisation set out what it thinks the government should do to ensure that working for yourself is seen as an attractive and positive way of working.

It would also end the confusion that currently exists around self-employment. The law currently has definitions for employees and workers, but none for self-employment. IPSE said that any definition should include the following tenets:

  • The self-employed should have autonomy over their work. This means being able to send substitutes and to not have to do work outside the agreement.
  • The self-employed should have complete control over their working arrangements, which means being able to choose the hours they work and where they work.
  • The self-employed have to take on responsibilities for their tax and finance. It would also mean that the self-employed could be paid on a per task basis.
  • Finally, the self-employed should have a level of independence from their clients. This would include, for example, being able to use their own tools and equipment.

IPSE has also called for a review of the welfare system to see how it could be made to better support the self-employed, particularly in areas such as maternity benefits and Universal Credit.