Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Freelancers’ Charter

A Freelancers’ Charter should be adopted by the numerous freelancer groups, such that they take ownership. The Labour Party should be a similar signatory to it, and should use it as a litmus test when defining new legislation in the future.

  1. Freelancers have the right to be issued a contract for the work they are doing or otherwise assume a default basic contract. They have the right to be paid and be paid on time for the services they provide.
  2. Freelancers should be able to compete for work and not be subject to restraint of trade by any organisation or association as a result of not having employee or larger company status. Such that clients should not discriminate against, or shy away from freelancers because of concerns over tax and employment status.
  3. Freelancers have the right to a clear definition of their status for both tax and employment purposes.
  4. Freelancers who compete against larger firms for business have the right to be treated as a supplier. If their status is assessed for tax or employment purposes then they should have the right to be compared with these others suppliers, not just against employees.
  5. Freelancers should not have to pay tax in advance against monies they have not yet earned.
  6. Freelancer Workers should have the right and ability to pay some additional tax in order to opt-in to register for social welfare support and benefits between contracts. They should have the ability to move to welfare and back again without difficulty.
  7. Freelancers should have the same professional responsibilities as an employee to uphold ethical standards.
  8. The drivers for freelancing should be professional, economic, and business drivers, rather than ones of tax efficiency. This should apply to both freelancers and those that use them.
  9. Freelancers have the right to be in business on their own account. Freelancers do not need to employ anyone else, have concurrent clients, or be able to supply a substitute, provide their own equipment, have a distinct work address, or even grow their businesses, to prove their status as a freelancer.
  10. Freelancers have the choice to establish a limited liability company dedicated to serve their needs in the marketplace and can use it to carry out both freelancing and traditional small business activities.

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