INSPIRATION FOR INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONALS AND THE SELF EMPLOYED ISSUE 61, JUNE 2017 – £4.95
Juggling with your future
General Election National Freelancers Day Will robots steal your job?
Financial guidance Making the complex Simple.
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CO N T E N T S 06
FROM THE LOBBY
Steve Richards and Jim Cassidy talk about political climate in the run up to the election
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017
Which party offers the best policies for the self-employed?
TOP TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR FIRST CLIENT
FROM THE EDITOR JAMES GRIBBEN
How to land the all important client when yu
PARTIES COURT SMALL BUSINESS VOTE
Enterprise Nation invite representatives to debate on small businesses and self-employment
IPSE partners with Uber, to offer drivers benefits such as sick pay
THE FREELANCER’S GUIDE TO AUCKLAND
How to set youself up as a freelancer in New Zealand
WHERE YOUR VOTE COUNTS THE MOST A look at the marginal constituencies
In this edition of IPSE Magazine, we cover both of these major events. You can read Steve Richards take on the election race so far, including how the selfemployed played a role in convincing the Prime Minister to call it. Our economist Lorence Nye takes a look at some key constituencies where people who work for themselves will play a key role in determining the outcome of the election.
NATIONAL FREELANCERS DAY
Celebrating the achievments of some of the UK’s most successfull freelancers
INSPIRE CANDIDATES PROFILES
The finalists for the Freelancer of the Year awards
ASPIRE CANDIDATES PROFILES The finalists for the Freelancer of the Year awards
IPSE AWARDS - PREVIOUS WINNERS
On Thursday 8 June, people all over the country will be making a stand. They will be calling for greater recognition, celebrating their successes and looking to the future. They will be of course, celebrating National Freelancers Day, which just so happens to be taking place concurrently with the Snap UK General Election.
COULD ROBOTS DESTROY FREELANCING?
How virtual machines could pose a threat to the freelancing industry
CO-WORKING & COFFEE
Welcome to Ziferblat, a pay-per minute co-working space in Manchester
National Freelancers Day is our sector’s moment to shine. In 2017 we go bigger and better than ever with London, Bristol and Manchester all hosting events. It’s also the time when we announce our Freelancers of the year. Read our full preview including an introduction to each of our 15 amazing finalists. Enjoy the read. Editor @JamesIPSE
What are they doing now
A message from the CEO Election time is upon us. Despite Theresa May’s early protestations as Prime Minister, millions will now be heading to their polling booths on 8 June. Incidentally, this date also happens to be National Freelancers Day.
James Gribben firstname.lastname@example.org @JamesIPSE
MEDIA CONSULTANT Jim Cassidy
CONTRIBUTORS Gary Barker Steve Richards Gemma Church Sophie Gibson
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The past few months have been something of a rollercoaster for IPSE and the snap general election is just one part of it. Our research shows that the confidence of the UK’s two million freelancers has fallen to the second lowest level on record. In the first quarter of the year, just 28 per cent of freelancers expressed confidence in their business performance: a decrease of 9 percentage points compared to the first quarter in 2016. Alarmingly, 42 per cent of respondents said their confidence in their business prospects had also fallen. The two prime factors driving these worryingly low levels of freelancers’ confidence were Brexit and government policy. It is a concern to see freelancers’ confidence in their businesses so low in the run up to the general election. We recently saw the U-turn of the planned NICs increase and we hope the new government, whatever the outcome of the election, implements measures to support the self-employed, rather than hinder them. Brexit has clearly been the dominating factor in this election, but we at IPSE are keen the government does not forget about the UK’s 4.8 million selfemployed. Not only have we asked each of the major parties what their message to the self-employed is, we have released our own manifesto, A Contract with the SelfEmployed, and every candidate of the major parties will receive their own copy of this. We officially launched our manifesto, which details the policies we want to see the incoming government adopt, on 24 May. Policies include calls for a statutory definition of self-employment, a strategic review of the tax system, the need to improve pension provisions and provide fairer parental benefits. Self-employed people are flexible and mobile, the world is their office, and Brexit should not change this. We want the new government to deliver a Brexit deal that delivers a trading relationship with the EU that does not create undue barriers for business.
The next two years are likely to be big for the self-employed as regulations and taxes continue to sit high on the next government’s agenda The next two years are likely to be big for the selfemployed as regulations and taxes, including NICS and IR35, continue to sit high on the next government’s agenda. And IPSE will certainly be at the forefront, ensuring that the self-employed are supported all the way. The general election coincides with IPSE's National Freelancers Day. For the ninth year running we will be celebrating independent professionals and their success in industries across the board. We will be hosting a day of masterclasses, seminars and workshops on maximising your rates, working in a post-Brexit world and many other fascinating and
IPSE’s Chief Executive, Chris Bryce invaluable sessions at King’s Place in central London. The day will conclude with a special ceremony, where we will be announcing the winners of this year’s Freelancer of the Year Awards. Aside from the general election and NFD, IPSE is delighted to have recently announced a brand new partnership with Uber. This is the first partnership of its kind and will mean UK drivers using the Uber app can now access a range of IPSE membership benefits. These include sickness and injury cover, jury service cover and access to free advice and support. We have worked hard to develop and offer a membership to this growing sector of self-employment and we are delighted to welcome the thousands of Uber partner drivers to the IPSE community. As well as the membership benefits, drivers will be part of the UK’s largest voice dedicated to supporting the self-employed community. IPSE is also excited to announce a new partnership with Close Brothers. Close Brothers are one of the leading providers of financial education and advice, and through the partnership our members will be able to access a wide range of services. Members can access services for areas such as budgeting, debt, tax planning, savings, pension, wills and estate planning. And that’s not all. We have recently signed another exclusive partnership with Contractor Mortgages Made Easy (CMME). CMME specialise in providing mortgage and financial advice for independent professionals and the self-employed. Freelancers and contractors have very specific financial needs and we know we can rely on CMME to provide our members with expert advice. Every new partnership IPSE secures increases our voice and helps us to continue to represent and support the self-employed. Here’s to an important and exciting few months!
‘I will simplify the tax system’ Theresa May delivers a message to the self-employed
A better future for Britain depends on a growing economy, with opportunity and prosperity within everyone’s reach. The first step to achieving that better future is to make a success of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Such a lot is riding on them. If we get Brexit right, great opportunities lie ahead. We can forge a new role for ourselves in the world as outward-looking, global trading nation. But getting that right deal for Britain will be a challenging task. The right leadership will be essential. That is why the choice at this General Election is so important. Without strong and stable leadership to get the best deal for Britain, we will not seize the opportunities ahead. The choice to focus on at this election is between me and Jeremy Corbyn – which of us do you want to lead our country and get the best deal from Brexit? Only I and my strong Conservative team have a credible plan to get the right deal for Britain abroad, and a better deal for ordinary working families here at home. That starts with agreeing a new deep and special partnership with the European Union, which includes a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU. That will open up new possibilities for our economy, including for the self-employed. Our election manifesto also sets out our clear plan to build a stronger economy and a more prosperous country here at home. There is much in that plan which freelancers and the self-employed will welcome. Last year I set up the Taylor Review into Modern Employment Practices, and I look forward to Matthew Taylor publishing his report later this year. Be assured – I am determined that the interests of the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy will be properly protected.
Government can and should take action to improve the business environment for the self-employed. So we will use the government’s buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code. To help make Britain the world’s most dynamic digital economy, we will make doing business online easier for companies and consumers. That means ensuring that consumers and businesses have access to the digital infrastructure they need to succeed. Our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband. By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage to 95 per cent geographic coverage and ensure all major roads and main line trains enjoy full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal, alongside guaranteed Wi-Fi internet service on all such trains. Another area where Government can make doing business easier is in the area of taxation. Our tax system remains much too complicated, making it too hard for self-employed people to assess their taxes. So if re-elected, I will simplify it. Our manifesto also contains a clear commitment not to increase the level of VAT. The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible, and it is our firm intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families. Self-employed people make a huge contribution to our economic success and a Conservative government will always back those who work hard and play by the rules. At this election, I am asking you to back me and my team, to ensure that our country has the strong and stable leadership we need to secure the right Brexit deal for our economy, and to deliver a better future for everyone in our country.
From the Lobby - Election s Political performers take centre stage By Steve Richards
rime Minister, what was it about your 20-point lead in the opinion polls that made you call an early election?”. The question was posed jokingly to the Prime Minister in the days that followed her announcement of an election on 8 June. Indeed, the fear of the question with its implication of selfserving opportunism, almost made May stick with her original intention to wait until 2020. Senior ministers, including Philip Hammond and David Davis, had been urging May to call an early election. She was reluctant to do so partly because of her previous declarations that she would not call one. She did not want to wreck her image of reliable trustworthiness. What changed her mind had little to do with the polls. Obviously she would not have been tempted if she was twenty points behind. The polls gave her permission to make the leap. But her motivation was to secure a mandate of her own. That objective provides a guide as to what will follow the election. The most traumatic sequence of her leadership was the budget in March and its aftermath, not least the speedy, panic-stricken u-turn on the tax rise for the self-employed. May and her Chancellor, Philip Hammond, had overlooked the commitment not to raise national insurance contributions in the Conservatives’ 2015 election manifesto. For May, yet another constraint arising from the Cameron/Osborne manifesto was the final straw. She had already been admonished for having no mandate for grammar schools, her industrial strategy, her plans to place workers’ representatives on boards and her determination to intervene in ‘failing’ markets. Now she had no mandate for one of the central proposals in the budget. She started to ache for her own mandate. If the polls are correct May will have the space to make some unpopular moves in the immediate aftermath of the election. Freed from the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto, taxes will rise. If he wishes to do so Hammond will be able to reintroduce the tax rise for the self-employed without worrying about the 2015 manifesto. More widely, May will seek to flesh out her own distinctive view of Toryism, or at least the view of her special adviser, Nick Timothy. She has repeated often that it is time to “recognise the 6
good that government can do”. This is what some regard as her ‘Ed Miliband streak’. She speaks about the state as a benevolent force in a way the Cameron/Osborne or indeed Tony Blair never did. Her proposal to cap energy prices is a direct lift from the Miliband era. The former Labour leader has to pinch himself at times as he hears a Tory Prime Minister putting arguments he advanced to the sounds of loud jeers in the media and parts of his party. At least tonally, this is a new phase for the Conservative party. The fact that David Cameron is writing his memoirs in a new garden shed and George Osborne is editing a newspaper, both out of parliament two years after winning an election, are potent symbols of the change. This is May’s party and this is her election.
For a shy public performer, the campaign must be an odd experience. Her name is everywhere as if she were a rock star. Her party’s name is virtually nowhere to be seen. Assuming the opinion polls are correct she will be in a commanding position after the election. It will have been her victory. Her command will be constrained by the mountainous challenge of Brexit. Early last year I had a brief talk with Cameron. He was exhausted in the midst of his ‘renegotiation’ with the rest of the EU. Cameron’s talks involved late nights in Prague, Warsaw and elsewhere. Negotiating Brexit will be five hundred times more complicated for May, a supreme test of stamina, focus and guile. She will be navigating the tricky terrain with the Labour Party in a febrile state. Jeremy Corbyn is fighting a ‘Bernie Sanders’ style campaign, making May’s support for the state seem puny. But ipsemagazine.co.uk
Northern lights - who will shine the brightest By Jim Cassidy
im Callaghan was Prime Minister; Michael Jackson was No. 1 in the charts; peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was President of the USA and the film Rocky won an Oscar. It was 1977. It was also the last time the Labour Party was thrown out of power in Glasgow. Following the local government elections, the SNP look set to govern a minority administration in Glasgow with a little help from the Greens. But, it was the election of Conservative councillors in some of the most deprived areas of Scotland that raised quite a few political eyebrows. Kick boxing Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson gave the Labour Party such a going over they are still recovering in the political intensive care department. Throughout Scotland, the Conservatives gained 161 councillors to finish with 276, while Labour lost 132 to finish with 262 councillors. So where does that leave us in the run up to the general election? While Brexit is at the forefront of general election thinking in England, Northern Ireland and Wales; in Scotland the decision by the SNP to demand a second independence referendum has become the political hot potato, pushing Brexit into second place in the argument. Those who know Nicola Sturgeon recognise there is a shrewd political brain, but many are wondering if Theresa May’s decision to call this snap election has wrong-footed the nimble Nicola. OK, Nicola can say she gained six more councillors to boost the overall figures to 431, but there are several Nat MPs who could well be looking for a new career come 9 June. It should be remembered that both the Conservatives and Labour each have only one MP
with a Scottish seat at Westminster. The old joke that there were more pandas in Edinburgh Zoo than Conservative MPs is about to be made redundant. But if IPSE’s old friend, the highly effective Ian Murray, loses his Edinburgh South seat, Labour MPs could end up as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster. While the SNP will win the vast majority of Scottish seats in the general election, their stunning 2015 total of 56 could well be cut to around 46. Two of the victorious tartan army of 2015, Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson, have been deselected and are the subject of unresolved legal cases, and their seats Glasgow East and Edinburgh West are up for grabs. Some high-profile SNP candidates have a fight on their hands, such as Westminster Leader Angus Robertson in Moray; and John Nicolson, Pete Wishart, Calum Kerr and Kirsten Oswald will all have to watch out for Ruth’s blue tsunami. Remembering Scotland voted to remain in the EU, the issues on 8 June will be simple: • • •
Indyref2 and the possibility of re- joining the EU, and remember I did say possibility: vote SNP. The Union, a hard Brexit, and the new Girls Aloud, Ruth and Theresa: vote Conservative. And if you hanker for the days of Michael Jackson and Jimmy Carter: vote Labour.
One final thought: Sally Cogley from Ayrshire won her local seat standing for the Rubbish Party. Now the good people of the Irvine Valley can say without fear of contradiction that their elected candidate is rubbish!
one of Corbyn’s many problems is that there are few weighty Labour advocates making his case. His campaign is compared often with the one contested by Michael Foot in 1983. This is unfair to Foot. He had been a senior cabinet minister as had his deputy, Denis Healey. The shadow cabinet then was full of heavyweights. This is not the case now. Their hope is that this is the era of the outsiders and change. But in the UK, voters appear to be opting for Brexit rather than socialism as their chosen vehicle for ‘change’. As such this election is partly a repeat of the referendum but this time the governing party is campaigning for Brexit, another big leap from the ancient history of the Cameron era. Politics is moving speedily at the moment and will continue to do so for the next five years.
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General Election 2017 Which party best represents independent professionals and the self-employed? On 18 April, Prime Minister Theresa May strode out of the front door of 10 Downing Street and called a snap general election. In announcing the surprise election, May stressed the importance of unity in the face of Brexit, praised the UK’s economic growth and the record number of jobs, and emphasised the need to remove the risk of uncertainty and instability. Whatever the outcome on 8 June, it is imperative that the incoming government makes the UK’s self-employed workforce central to these plans and eradicates the uncertainty and instability that threaten to diminish their ability to add worth, creativity and flexibility to the UK. The UK’s rapidly growing 4.8 million self-employed contribute £255 billion to the economy every year. The fact that they comprise 15 per cent of the total UK workforce illustrates the need for the government to adopt and implement policies to support them and assist them in stimulating growth and employment rates. Self-employment is a riskier way of working than employment. Selfemployed people take on all the risk from their clients and customers, and in doing so, increase efficiency and innovation. Given the uncertainty forged by the ongoing Brexit negotiations, it is vital that the UK has a thriving, dynamic economy. The self-employed help deliver this. They are one of the major catalysts for the jobs and economic growth that May talked of during her announcement, therefore the need to recognise this with helpful rather than hindering policies is more important now than ever before.
Recent governments have heeded IPSE’s advice – most notably in the introduction of the small business commissioner and progress on fairer parental benefits. There is more to be done, however. In March, the Chancellor reneged on a party manifesto pledge and increased Class 4 NICs for the self-employed. Though there was a U-turn the following week, the issue may indeed return to the agenda now that the initial pledge has gone. Controversial IR35 changes in the public sector have had a chaotic effect and prompted widespread confusion. Can the new government commit to not implementing the same changes in the private sector as well? Then there’s the issue of the ongoing Taylor Review – to which IPSE has recently contributed with an official submission and appearances during the regional panel session. The review can only make recommendations to the government, but it is widely considered that its advice will be heeded closely. So, where does your party stand on taxing the self-employed? Should the Conservatives consider the question of pension options for the self-employed in the review into auto-enrolment? What is the Labour Party’s position on maternity pay for the self-employed? How do the Lib Dems propose to combat companies shirking their obligations as employers? Would the SNP back a Scottish Small Business Commissioner to tackle the rates on small businesses and the self-employed? Here IPSE outlines each party’s stance on self-employment and the implications their election could have.
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017
CONSERVATIVES In their manifesto, the Conservative Party has said: “The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. We understand that small businesses are the wellspring of growth. They form a key part of British life, valued for their contribution to every community across the country. We will continue to support small businesses through business rate relief and low taxation, and by reducing the bureaucracy and regulation that prevents small businesses from flourishing. “In the modern economy many people choose jobs like driving, delivering and coding, that are highly flexible and can be mixed with other employment. This brings considerable advantages to millions of people but we should not ignore the challenges this kind of employment creates. These workers are officially classed as self-employed and therefore have fewer pension entitlements, reduced access to benefits, and no qualification for sick pay and holiday pay. Yet the nature of their work is different from the traditional self-employed worker who might be a sole trader, a freelancer or running their own business. “We will make sure that people working in the ‘gig’ economy are properly protected. Last October, the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.”
• • •
The party has also pledged to: Ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament Extend pension auto-enrolment to the self-employed Promote long-term savings and pensions products – including the Lifetime ISA – to encourage and incentivise more people to make provision for long-term needs.
LABOUR Labour issued IPSE with the following statement: “Labour recognises that genuine self-employment brings many benefits, freedoms and flexibilities. Self-employed workers also bring important entrepreneurial spirit to a thriving economy. However, there is evidence that bogus selfemployment is growing. The rapidly changing nature of work has opened up the space for exploitation by some. “Labour will set up a commission, with legal and academic experts and representation from industry and trade unions, to make sure selfemployment works for both workers and the economy. “We will protect low and middle income earners by committing to no increases in VAT, national insurance contributions and income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year. Under Labour’s plan, 95 per cent of taxpayers will be guaranteed no increase in their income tax contributions and everyone will be protected from any increase in personal National Insurance Contributions and VAT. “Labour will seek to strengthen self-employed workers’ rights to maternity and paternity leave. Labour believes that all workers should have the same rights and protections whatever kind of work they do. With regards to Brexit, Labour’s priority will be securing new trading arrangements that Labour believes that all workers match the benefits of the should have the same rights single market. That means continued tariff-free trade and protections whatever between the UK and the kind of work they do EU and no new non-tariff barriers to trade. Whether this is best achieved through reformed membership of the single market or a new trade deal is a matter for negotiation. Theresa May is wrong to have ruled out single market membership before negotiations have even begun.” In their manifesto Labour has stated that it “recognises that the law often struggles to keep up with the ever-changing new forms of employment and work, so we will set up a dedicated commission to modernise the law around employment status. New statutory definitions of employment status would reduce the need for litigation and improve compliance.”
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS Baroness Susan Kramer, shadow business secretary, told IPSE: “The Liberal Democrats see small businesses, including the self-employed, as the backbone and future of the British economy. We are now the only pro-free trade, pro-business party and we will build a strong economy in which people and businesses can thrive. “Our focus is on providing opportunities for small businesses without exploitation by big business – that includes helping start-up entrepreneurs with a £100 per week living allowance and using the British Business Bank to push funds down into the financial system for both capital and loans. “We will continue our long history of investing in skills and training, and reward creativity and hard work. We will encourage a strong work ethic and reward entrepreneurs who take a risk and enter the business world. “One of the reasons we oppose the Theresa May version of Brexit is that it is the small entities that will find it hardest to overcome the new barriers to EU markets and skills. We believe that for a strong economy, Britain must remain members of the single market. “Britain’s future can be bright; we don’t have to settle for a bad Brexit deal that will cost jobs and put up prices. We deserve a better future. By backing the Liberal Democrats you can have the final say on the Brexit deal and you can change Britain’s future. “At this election we are being honest about the fact that a small tax increase is necessary to secure the future of the NHS. By putting an extra 1p on income tax rates, we will be able to invest the £6 billion our health and social care services desperately need. This is the fairest way of raising this money: someone earning £15,000 would only pay an extra £35 a year, while those earning £100,000 will contribute an extra £885. “Over the long-term our goal is to lift the starting level at which people pay NICs as we did with income tax. “We will toughen up the enforcement of employment rights, so that employers cannot deny their staff the rights and pay they’re entitled to by falsely classifying them as self-employed. We understand that, in many cases, flexible employment contracts work well for both employees and businesses. But employers should not be able to take all the benefits of flexibility while tying their workers into deals which disadvantage them.”
UKIP The UK Independence Party is an advocate for small businesses. In the run up to the local elections the party pledged to “reduce tax and business costs to stimulate the local economy”. It added they would “make it easier for smaller and local businesses to tender for local authority contracts”. With the general election only a week away, a spokesperson for UKIP told IPSE: “We are extremely concerned that the two main parties in this election see the self-employed as the nation’s cash cow, rather than its background. “It is clear that the Conservatives want to increase Class 4 National Insurance Contributions having tried to get it through before the election. Chancellor Philip Hammond said that despite it not being in their manifesto, he felt it was the right thing to do.” UKIP has pledged not to increase NICs on the self-employed. Furthermore, the party believes that leaving the EU will allow for a far less aggressive and bureaucratic regime, and give the most productive sector in the economy a chance to grow. “The job of the government is to get out of the way, not to throw up road blocks in the path of strivers,” added UKIP. “As supporters of the self-employed sector, we believe that aggressive taxation and the need to deliver paperwork at multiple occasions through the year places an unnecessary burden on people. UKIP will not increase taxes on the sector. “The major issues affecting the sector are the threat of greater bureaucracy, taxation and the scourge of late payment. UKIP will introduce simple processes by which contracts are paid on time and in full, in particular by public sector bodies “Brexit, like all changes causes concern, but the possibilities of looking at the entire world, and the opportunities created by the growth of international change will pay off and benefit the UK’s selfemployed sector. “As negotiations progress we will see that it is not in the interests of our friends in the EU to create barriers to trade, but in the meantime we will be free to strike better deals globally. Of course there will be some transitional problems, but they will be small in comparison to the global opportunities.”
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017
SNP The Scottish National Party is, and was, fundamentally opposed to any self-employed NICs increase condemning March’s budget announcement by saying the message it sent, prior to the subsequent U-turn, was one that “undermined and deterred” the UK’s entrepreneurial future rather than encouraged it. Of the estimated 300,000 self-employed people in Scotland, at least 150,000 were expected to be affected by higher tax bills following the increase to their National Insurance Contributions - a measure the SNP’s economic spokesman, Stewart Hosie, described at the time as “a scandalous attack on aspiration”. “The SNP recognise the enormous contribution small businesses and the self-employed make to the economy,” Hannah Bardell, the SNP’s spokesperson on Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation and candidate for Livingston, told IPSE during the build up to this month’s snap general election. “The Tories have proven they can’t be trusted to deliver for selfemployed people – the SNP opposed their policy to hike National Insurance Contributions during this year’s budget as it would have undermined and deterred the type of entrepreneurial behaviour that we should seek to encourage.” The SNP, led by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who are defending 56 of the 59 parliamentary constituencies north of the border, also said the small business commissioner, which IPSE pushed for in its 2015 manifesto, must be given sufficient powers to effectively fulfil their responsibilities. “SNP MPs supported the creation of a small business commissioner and in the last parliament we put forward amendments that called for more powers to be given to the commissioner so they could better fulfil the role,” Bardell continued. “In Scotland, the SNP Scottish Government has led the way through the Small Business Bonus – an SNP policy that has saved smaller businesses throughout Scotland more than £1bn and has lifted many of these businesses out of paying rates altogether.” Central to SNP’s policy is the absolute necessity that Scotland remains in the European single market after the Brexit negotiations are finalised so that those starting businesses and stepping out on their own are able to grow and stay ahead of the curve, rather than merely keep up. “The Tories’ plans for a hard Brexit has caused uncertainty for businesses,” Bardell added. “We know the single market – a market of 500 million people and 31 countries – is key to the success and growth of businesses across the UK. Now, more than ever, it is important there are strong SNP voices in Westminster to hold the Tories to account and protect jobs, businesses and economy.”
GREEN PARTY Rachel Collinson, spokesperson for Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The Green Party is proud to support self-employed people against the power of huge firms. You are key to helping this country through the coming Brexit turmoil. “We think that taxes on the self-employed should fall, while taxes should rise for those who can comfortably afford it. Likewise we think that income tax should be lower for people who are struggling to get by, and more for people who are well off.” The party plan to phase out VAT and replace it with a tax on pollution. This means far fewer small businesses would have to deal with annoying tax forms, and in the meantime VAT will be reduced on cooked food, live performance and accommodation to just five per cent. “As business spokesperson, my day job is running a small business. From my experience, covering your basic expenses during the lean times can be a real struggle,” Collinson added. “To counter all this, we would bring in a pilot project of something called People’s Venture Capital. This would replace the individual tax allowance, working tax credit, child tax credit, child benefit, tax credits, parental leave, statutory sick pay and universal credit (except housing and disability payments). Instead, you would get a monthly payment from the government direct into your bank account designed to cushion you against hard times. “Getting paid on time is a huge problem. The government brought in the office of small business commissioner to look at this. We’ll be watching them like a hawk to make sure they do. “The most important thing is the growth of firms like Uber or Deliveroo who pay per mini-contract. ‘It’s self-employment, Jim, but not as we know it!’ In reality, the worker takes all the risk and the giant company gets all the rewards. “A Green Government would fix this by ending zero hour contracts, encourage people who work for these firms to unionise and penalise firms who refuse to allow their ‘shadow staff’ to work for others. “The Green Party has campaigned relentlessly to keep us in the single market and retain freedom of movement. We will also give the nation a say on the terms of any deal; really handing control to the people. “We are the only party who has a leader with experience as an MEP. Caroline Lucas knows the EU inside and out because of her many years working in the European parliament. This would give us a massive advantage in negotiations, unlike Theresa May, who has no experience.”
PLAID CYMRU The self-employed are the “backbone of the Welsh economy” and Plaid Cymru intend to attract as many people who work for themselves as possible, by giving Wales the power to set its own tax rates and reform regressive business rate systems. According to ONS data, there were 176,300 self-employed people operating in Wales at the end of 2016. One-in-five new jobs created in Wales since 2010 were self-employed. However, this growth was less prominent than UK-wide figures where self-employment accounted for 32 per cent of all new jobs. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Welsh economy and Plaid Cymru wants to attract as many of them to Wales as possible,” Jonathan Edwards, Treasury Spokesperson and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, told IPSE. “We would do this by pushing for targeted tax discounts for new and existing businesses as part of a new UK Regional Policy. We will also demand Wales has the power to set its own rates of tax, including VAT, R&D tax credits, employers’ National Insurance Contributions and the Patent Box – to help make Wales a more attractive place for enterprise, job-creation and investment. “We will also pass a Regulatory Reform Act to lower the bureaucratic burden on business. “Small businesses are often burdened with a regressive business rates system. We will put an end to this by moving towards a turnoverbased system.” Plaid, who won three seats at the 2015 general election, said too many budding entrepreneurs were failing because they weren’t given the necessary support to thrive. Self-employment comes with inherent risks and volatility which must be negated to make Wales an attractive destination for those with aspirations of branching out on their own, according to Edwards. To do so, Plaid will call on private sector bodies to help improve business networks so that small business can continue to be the backbone of the Welsh economy. Brexit, meanwhile, must prove no barrier to trade within the EU. “Entrepreneurs fail far too often because they are not given the necessary support to thrive,” Edwards continued. “We will involve the private sector and its representative bodies in providing business support and advice aimed at small businesses with less than 10 employees, by strengthening the current Business Wales network. “Our message to the UK Government on Brexit is simple - there can be no barriers to trade with the EU. By electing a strong team of Plaid Cymru MPs, Welsh business people can rest assured that their interests will be defended at all times.”
NORTHERN IRELAND There are 18 seats up for grabs in Northern Ireland, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein likely to finish the largest parties. Brexit is an issue which takes on extra significance in Northern Ireland because it affects the Constitutional question. Unionist parties are calling on the electorate to back them to head off calls for a referendum for Irish Unity, while Sinn Fein are making a referendum the centrepiece of their campaign. DUP’s East Belfast candidate Gavin Robinson said, “The DUP has been a consistent supporter of self-employment and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland, recognising that it is key in order to build a stronger economy. In order to encourage selfemployment, the DUP supports a tax regime which rewards those who are prepared to invest and take risks to build their business. “Brexit presents an opportunity for these entrepreneurs to rejuvenate to building trading relationships across the world, unfettered by the burden of European regulation. “As the party who has held the economy brief throughout the period of devolution we understand the issues and challenges facing the self-employed, and continue to engage regularly at all levels of our representation, with business people. Our message to the self“Our message to the selfemployed is simple - we employed is simple - we will support you.” will support you Once the vote is over, talks will resume on restoring the power sharing executive in Stormont. The Norther Irish assembly has been without a devolved government since the beginning of the year when a heating scheme scandal led to its collapse. The SDLP has confirmed it will run candidates in every Northern Ireland constituency for the Westminster election following speculation they would not contest some seats. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) will be fighting the election with a new leader at the helm. Robin Swann took up the position in March following Mike Nesbitt’s resignation after poor assembly election results. The Alliance Party is hopeful of regaining East Belfast, having previously won the seat in 2010 from the DUP.
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017
Parties court small business vote
With manifestos released, debate stimulated and political slogans firmly imprinted in the public mind, the general election is rapidly gathering momentum as the parties outline their intentions, and self-employment, rightly, is a central and keenly disputed topic of contention. Self-employment is an exponentially growing sector of the UK workforce. But how do the powers that be intend to nurture and support, promote and champion them? On the night of the first live televised leaders debate in Manchester, Enterprise Nation hosted representatives of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and UKIP, and an audience of entrepreneurs, in London to debate small business issues ahead of 8 June. IPSE was in attendance to find out what they had to say. Set in the historic, grade II listed halls of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), appropriately, the first question was self-employed NICs. Matt Hancock, former minister of state for digital and culture and Conservative candidate for West Suffolk, hoped the Taylor Review would make recommendations, however issues of tax are outside its remit. Ibrahim Dogus, chairman of SME4Labour and cities of London and Westminster candidate, said Labour would maintain the current rate of self-employed NICs while Lord Monroe Palmer, Lords spokesperson for small and medium-sized enterprises, said the Liberal Democrats were wholeheartedly against any increase. Rachel Collinson said the Green Party would abolish NICs and incorporate them in income tax while UKIP spokesperson for small business, Ernie Warrender, said they too would maintain the current rate. The representatives also discussed issues of Brexit, the dangers facing small businesses on the high street and UK investment for budding entrepreneurs before the curtain was drawn with a question from IPSE’s director of policy, Simon McVicker. “Does the panel appreciate the value that self-employment brings to the UK economy and do they further appreciate attempts to raise NICs, or any other ill-thought taxation on the self-employed, may well strangle the goose who lays the golden egg?” On employment status, Dogus said, in an attempt to crackdown on employers taking advantage of bogus schemes to avoid their responsibilities, Labour’s default position would assume people are
employees, until they could prove otherwise. “The value of self-employment is self-evident,” Hancock said, before issuing a warning to Labour about the detrimental effects their clampdown on flexible employment could have. “We need to make sure rules around employment are modern, keep up with the times and fit people’s preferred way of working.” Lord Palmer talked of the Lib Dems pledge to give £100 a week to entrepreneurs but criticised Making Tax Digital (MTD), especially for the smallest businesses, where the self-employed would be forced to complete five tax returns every year. Labour pledged to scrap MTD for businesses below the VAT threshold but the Conservatives argued MTD would be a big positive but they would delay its implementation for the smallest businesses earning under £70,000. The Green Party finished talking of the need for fibre optic broadband and better investment in infrastructure so that “we can compete with Europe; be ahead of the curve not running to constantly keep up.” Before the debate, the audience was asked to tell a poll how they intended to vote in the election. The same poll was set again after the debate to ascertain whether those in attendance had been swayed by the panel. The results, in the table below, certainly make for interesting reading. Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation founder and chair of the debate, said: “As Labour lean further to the left and the Conservatives start introducing statutory worker rights, the view from Lord Palmer struck a defiant chord with the audience. Liberal Democrats want a small state, a start-up allowance and a move to tax simplification. “A vote taken at the end proclaimed the Liberal Democrats had taken an astonishing slice of the Conservative and undecided vote, moving from 15 per cent to 38 per cent, with the Tories moving down to second place on 25 per cent with Labour in third at 19 per cent. “While this is not necessarily an indication of where the general population will vote on 8 June, small businesses do tend to have a nose for strong economic policy.”
Where your vote counts the most With 8 June drawing ever nearer, IPSE’s economist Lorence Nye has researched the impact of the burgeoning self-employed sector on the election. When it comes to marginal seats, parliamentary candidates may want to consider whether or not their constituency has a high number of self-employed people, as their vote could be crucial. Using data from each constituency, as well as the Office of National Statistics’ Annual Population Survey, it is possible to compile a list of the marginal seats with the highest proportion of selfemployed people. In other words, the seats where the self-employed will have the biggest chance of making a difference as the country goes to the polls. Self-employed hot-spots On average one in seven people work for themselves in the UK. However, in some parts of the country the self-employed population is considerably higher. St Ives topped the list as the constituency with the highest number of self-employed people. In this south west town, currently a Conservative seat, 35.5 per cent of the total workforce is selfemployed. Second on the list is Dwyfor Meirionnydd, a Plaid Cymru constituency, where 31.5 per cent of the workforce is selfemployed. Of the top 20 constituencies with the highest share of self-employed workers, the majority of them are Conservative seats and they all had a fairly large majority in the election two years ago. They include, Kensington, Chesham and Amersham, South West Surrey, Ludlow and East Devon. Also on the list is North Norfolk and Ceredigion – both of which are Lib Dem seats. Ealing Central and Acton is the only Labour seat in the top 20, which features a high proportion of selfemployed. However, it also has a very low majority of just 274.
higher than average proportion of self-employed people, whilst also being held with only the slimmest of majorities. At the top of the list was Gower, a Conservative seat, where 19.8 per cent of the total workforce are self-employed. The Conservatives won this seat by a majority of just 27. Other constituencies on a knife-edge include Halifax, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hove, and Lancaster and Fleetwood – all of which are Labour seats. Conservatives seats on this list include Croydon Central, Brighton, Kemptown, Bolton West and Lewes. In these constituencies the candidates may find that a successful strategy might be to appeal directly to the self-employed. They are both financially invested in a business and other lifestyle factors such as their ability to save for retirement or buy a home are impacted by the way they work. There is potential evidence of this from the last General Election. In 2015, Ed Miliband made a direct appeal to the self-employed, saying that he would give them increased employment benefits, such as maternity pay. And despite losing overall,
Drilling down the majorities To find out where the self-employed would have the biggest influence, we needed to add more data to the mix. So we took all the constituencies with an above-average proportion of self-employed people, then ordered them by their majorities. Our analysis shows that there are a number of constituencies with a
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2017
Labour won a number of seats from the Conservatives in London constituencies with high self-employment, like Ealing, Brentford and Ilford. It is very possible that Miliband’s direct appeal to the selfemployed was a significant factor in this. It will most likely have played a role in Rupa Huq, for example, turning over a lead of 3,716 in Ealing Central and Acton. She now holds a majority of just 274, and with the self-employed making up more than a quarter of her constituency’s workforce, she may find it very useful to target those 13,000+ voters. In fact, it may be the best chance to secure her seat in what promises to be a very close race. In every election there are seats which will be won or lost by the narrowest of margins. What is clear from this analysis, is that the self-employed have not just a strong voice, but a commanding one in many constituencies across the country. Every political party will have earmarked seats which can be swung by the votes of people who work for themselves. This is a message IPSE will be delivering loud and clear with its manifesto ‘A Contract with the Self-Employed’. If any would-be-MP’s want some last minute advice on how do get elected, they could do worse than pick up their copy and give it a read.
“When you drill down into the data you begin to develop a really clear picture of just how strong a community the selfemployed are. “It shouldn’t be a surprise that self-employment is unevenly spread across the UK, but we are seeing constituencies where more than one in three people are in business for themselves. On this basis alone, it is surprising that parties have not gone out of their way more, to appeal to Lorence Nye, Economic Advisor at IPSE this section the economy, as it is clear they have the power to change the outcome in a large number of seats.”
Top 20 marginal seats with the highest proportion of self-employed people
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Inspiration for the nation
Thursday 8 June is a big day in everyone’s calendars – and not just because of a certain general election. It’s also National Freelancers Day: a celebration of the UK’s two million freelancers and the massive contribution they make not just to the economy, but also to the country’s ingenuity and culture. IPSE will be celebrating National Freelancers Day with a host of events up and down the country. In London, there will be a series of masterclasses, seminars and workshops on contracts, setting and maximising rates, working internationally in a post-Brexit world, and much more. There will be insightful talks and panel discussion too, with experts from across the world of freelancing and beyond, including: • Mark Haines and Ashley Driver from HSBC • Griselda Togobo from Forward Ladies • Luke Somerset from Contractor Mortgages Made Easy • Adam Byrnes from freelancer.com • Frank Meadon from Aegon Insurance • Nikesh Desai, Close Brothers June 2017
• Jacqui Whyatt from Kelly OCG • Rianda Markram, Edward Pearce and Elsa Caleb from LHS Solicitors’ LLP • Emmeline Pidgen, 2016 Winner of the Inspire IPSE Award • Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, 2015 Winner of the Aspire IPSE Award • Ben Matthews, 2015 Runner Up for the Inspire IPSE Award • Craig McDougall, 2015 Finalist for the Aspire IPSE Award. • Matt Dowling, The Freelancer Club • Paul Mason, Abbey Tax • Judith Dugdale, Moore and Smalley Outside London, IPSE will be hosting satellite events in Bristol and Manchester. At both events, attendees will have the chance to not only network and build up connections, but also learn about IPSE and the support they offer, as well as how to start up and develop a freelance career. Each satellite event will also be live-streaming workshops and talks from London, as well as hosting special regional panel discussions.
Freelancer of the Year Awards The centrepiece of the big day, of course, is the Freelancer of the Year Awards. There are two main categories: Aspire, for freelancers under the age of 23 and Inspire, for established freelancers aged 24 and over. The judging for the 2017 awards took place on Thursday 13 April. The finalists came from every walk of life and career, from track engineering and software development, to graphic design and even origami sculpture. The winners of the awards will be announced on 8 June at a special evening event, hosted by comedian Ellie Taylor and including a talk from IPSE chief executive Chris Bryce.
CHARLOTTE BEEVOR, 25 Surface Pattern Designer
Since then, he has created vivid, colourful designs for high-profile clients including BoxPark, the Tate, London Live and the Guardian. His business is going from strength to strength, and he has many more exciting, innovative projects lined up. yoni.london LUKE NICHOLSON, 29, Communication & Accent Coach
everything from Noiz, a ‘Netflix for sound’, to Crisis Dashboard – a mobile app providing discreet support for victims of domestic abuse. Through Fish Percolator, Rich has also worked with Leeds City Council on GSOH (Great Sense of Home), a quiz-based app that helps people find the perfect neighbourhood. As for the future, Rich not only has two major projects in the pipeline, but is also looking to collaborate more with other freelancers and enhance his business with a new, high-tech workstation. fishpercolator.co.uk PHIL RICHARDSON, 28, Track Design Engineer
With a Lululemon Athletica and a BDC New Designer of the Year Award under her belt at just 25, Charlotte is a precocious success in the design world. Establishing her surface pattern design business soon after she graduated in 2014, she quickly went on to collaborate with high-profile names such as Made.com, Marks & Spencer and Hillarys Blinds. Creating patterns filled with vibrant colours and painterly motifs, Charlotte designs everything from interiors and fashion prints to sportswear and stationery. After just three years in business, she has already exhibited at events in Paris, Shanghai and New York. charlottebeevor.com YONI ALTER, 36 Graphic Artist
Having trained as an actor and studied languages at university, Luke is perfectly placed to fill an important gap in the market: accent and pronunciation coaching. He set up his business in 2012, and since then he has personally coached people from over 65 countries. As well as teaching one-to-one lessons in his central London offices, Luke also offers a range of free learning resources on his website, and has even launched his own online English pronunciation course. As for the future, he hopes not only to expand his online offering, but also publish an English pronunciation textbook. improveyouraccent.co.uk RICH DALEY, 34 Software Development Consultant
Having studied art and design in Jerusalem, Yoni came to London looking to establish himself as a graphic designer in “the creative capital of the world”. His first London show was inspired by the city’s urban landscapes and architecture, and debuted at the Kemistry Gallery in 2014. It paid homage to what Yoni calls “the creative vibe of this amazing city”. 20
Working mainly on the Northern Hub rail programme and the electrification of the north west, Phil is a track design engineer specialising in track and drainage systems. Although he is only 28, he has already worked on a number of major projects across the north, including the introduction of electric trains and the improvement of journey times for Manchester commuter trains. Phil has established himself as a skilled and sought-after freelancer in a niche industry. Now he is looking to expand his operation, both with new, high-spec equipment and a range of semiautomatic processes he has developed.
Rich’s Leeds-based business, Fish Percolator, is driven by one fundamental aim: to make a difference through technology. With an extensive background in software development, Rich has worked on ipsemagazine.co.uk
ALEXY DURY, 46 Deaf-Related Professional Services
Valentine’s Day and a stop-frame origami animation for Channel 5. Now he’s looking to start using design software to take Papershake even further. papershake.com MANDY BARKER, 30 Graphic Designer
wide range of start-ups and investors, developed guidelines for American healthcare providers and worked on projects worth up to $50 million. Recently, she has helped with the launch of a new multiple sclerosis medication and also worked on the marketing for a new hepatitis B treatment. As for the future, her next step is to expand her business beyond London, but she also wants to launch a social media strategy and get training to help her develop M Holloway Ltd. speakingdiabetes.com CHICHI ERUCHALU, 33, Business Strategist and Coach
Through her business, DeafAspect, Alexy provides professional services to deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in and around Oxfordshire. As a deaf person herself, she can offer sympathetic and relatable support to other deaf people. She also offers sign language lessons and consultancy on deaf-related issues. In fact, one of her proudest achievements is working as a consultant for SignVideo, a video relay service for deaf people. For Alexy, the future is all about expansion. As deaf people come to feel more and more isolated from society, Alexy is determined to expand her offering to help create a close and supportive community for them. MICHAEL TREW, 31 Origami Paper Sculptor
After working as a full-time graphic designer for several years, Mandy set up her own design studio, Sail Creative, in 2016. Her aim was to produce meaningful, creative work that would not only give brands a voice, but also encourage positive social change. So far, she has worked on an exciting rebrand of Curious Arts (an LGBT festival), a new brand for a law firm specialising in LGBTQ and Romani Traveller rights, and a new set of designs for Eat Me Café. Her proudest achievement, however, was Words Bare, a project showcasing and challenging many of the comments LGBTQ people face. sailcreative.co.uk Melissa Holloway, 35 Medical Copywriter
Fish, birds, flowers, safari animals, two-metre tall dinosaur heads… Michael’s website is a testament to the versatility of origami. Since starting out as a professional origami sculptor 15 years ago, Michael has worked with everyone from Yo! Sushi to Harrods and Harley Street Children’s Hospital. He founded his company Papershake four years ago and has since been working on even more ambitious projects, including 100 red roses for
Through her company, M Holloway Ltd, Melissa provides consulting and medical copywriting services to healthcare advertising agencies and medical device companies. She has advised a
An experienced business strategist and coach, Chichi helps entrepreneurial women gain confidence and overcome their fears. Her focus is helping them to develop a long-term strategy and connect to the people who need their services most. Chichi offers both one-to-one and group coaching. In fact, her group programme is completely sold out. She has also created a CEO Mastery Facebook community. Although she created it less than a year ago, it has already grown to over 2,500 women. Now, her mission is to spread her message further still and train women all over the world to start their own business and realise their potential. chichieruchalu.com James Gribben, one of the judges for the awards said: “The IPSE Awards judging day is the highlight of my year. As a judge I got to meet 15 of the finest freelancers working in the UK. My fellow judges and I had an incredibly difficult time selecting a winner for the Aspire and Inspire Awards, as all of the finalists had real strengths and are clearly leader in their fields.” To hear from the finalists, check out IPSEs soundcloud page: soundcloud.com/user549078768 21
ABIGAIL AND CHLOE BALDWIN, 22 Graphic Designers
and Vogue Italia, but her proudest achievement so far is joining the team at Art Partner, one of the world’s top creative content and artist management agencies. showtime.arts.ac.uk/CharlotteHaldane NISHA HAQ, 23 Photographer
project he works on to make sure he gets the best results possible. At just 22, he has already worked on numerous multi-million pound interior fit-outs, including a major project for itsu. With a determined and innovative mindset, Carl is constantly coming up with new ways to cut property maintenance costs. Right now, his main focus is finding ways to help Spruce My to broaden their offering and provide a genuinely round-theclock service for their clients. sprucemy.co.uk ADAM SMITH, 23, Video and Photography Production
Together, twin sisters Abigail and Chloe Baldwin form the creative design duo Buttercrumble. After graduating in Graphic & Communications Design, Abigail and Chloe teamed up to create an innovative, eye-catching portfolio, inspired by a range of influences: everything from folk illustrations and Scandinavian designs to mid-century fashion and everyday life. Since then, they’ve worked on a wide range of projects, including Leeds Libraries creative workshops, an animation about Type 1 diabetes and – their proudest achievement – acting as creative editors for Independent Leeds, a free magazine celebrating business and creativity. buttercrumble.com CHARLOTTE HALDANE, 23, Hair and Makeup Artist
At just 23, Nisha has already built up a prolific portfolio, covering fashion, portrait, commercial and wedding photography. All produced in her natural, colourful and relaxed style. And it’s not just photography: she has also created websites, business marketing assets, logo designs and videos for a wide range of clients. Nisha has only been running her business for 18 months, but in that time it’s grown exponentially, bringing her contracts with everyone from driving schools and chocolatiers to Somerset Art Works. Now she is looking to not only step up her marketing, but also buy herself a professional studio space. nishahaqphotography.com Carl Lonsdale, 22 Interior Specialist
Currently in the final year of her Hair and Makeup for Fashion degree, Charlotte has already made a name for herself in the fashion industry. She has been invited to work at both the London and Paris fashion weeks, and has helped at shows by major artists like Margaret Howell, Celine, Molly Goddard and Roksanda. At just 23, Charlotte has already been featured in magazines, including Red Milk, Sicky June 2017
Through his video and photography production company, HSQ Productions, Adam provides rapid-turnaround, high-quality media content for clients right across the UK. His clients so far have included the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Time For You, a major cleaning franchise. He has also recently confirmed a photoshoot for a charity at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. His biggest achievement to date, however, was debuting his ‘Done in a Day’ video service for his first video production contract. Now he is looking to upgrade his editing suite, buy better script production software and generally build up HSQ Productions. hsqproductions.com
Carl, an interior specialist with Spruce My, isn’t just any old tradesman. He makes a point of understanding the unique challenges of every 23
IPSE award winners and where they are now
promoting my work, but also for building my confidence as a freelancer. Because of the financial backing I got from it, I was also able to work on some major, career-defining projects. Since winning the award, I’ve been able to set aside time to write and illustrate two books as well – my first picture book and graphic novel. It’s incredibly exciting! One year on from winning, how are you and your business doing? Right now, I think I’m at the most exciting point in my career so far! Creatively, it’s been a really interesting year – I’ve worked on so many incredible projects and it’s been great to embrace the opportunities that have come from the awards: from filming and workshops to national press features and even judging this year’s awards. My confidence has grown exponentially, and I am far more focused on taking my business in the right direction and finding the way forward.
Inspire Freelancer of the Year 2016 Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I’m 28 and currently living in Lancashire. I’ve been a freelance professional illustrator for about six years now – creating books, advertising, graphic novels and a whole range of editorial illustrations. Why did you first decide to go freelance? I basically jumped straight into freelancing as soon as I’d graduated from my Illustration degree at University College Falmouth. Freelancing was the perfect fit for me because it gave me the freedom to explore the areas of illustration and business I was most interested in working in. It also allowed me to have control over my brand and the future of my career. Why did you decide to enter the National Freelancer of the Year Awards in 2016? Back in 2014, I was a finalist in the similar ‘15 or 15’ freelancer awards, and I found the experience extremely valuable – particularly because it gave me the chance to meet and collaborate with freelancers from a huge variety of backgrounds. It was so inspiring and eye-opening that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take part in the Freelancer of the Year Awards in 2016. How has winning the award helped your career? Winning the Freelancer of the Year Award has been brilliant not only for networking and 24
What have been your greatest achievements over the last year, and what are your biggest upcoming projects? I think one of my biggest achievements was my ‘What Emmeline Wore in October’ blog, for which I collaborated with some major brands – like Fat Face, Oasis and Joules. It basically involved illustrating my outfit every day, and over the course of the month it actually got a total of over 100,000 views, as well as thousands of likes and shares. As for the future, I’m most excited about the books and comics I’m working on and where they will go. I’ve also got plans to pitch my guide for freelancers in the creative industries to a number of publishers. Overall, it’s been an incredibly busy year, and definitely one of the most important for me so far! Finally, what advice do you have for freelancers just starting out in your industry? There’s no two ways about it: the creative industries are tough. There’s a lot of competition out there, and it can feel hard to get noticed and get the jobs you actually want to work on. So I think it’s important to take the time to really stoke your passion for the field you’ve chosen. You’re doing this because you love it, right? So make sure it’s that passion that’s driving you forward and determining your direction, both in terms of your style and your career. You’ll almost certainly go through some tricky times as a freelancer, and when you do, just step back and take the time to remember what you love about your chosen career.
Runner Up Inspire 2016 Firstly, can you just tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I have two freelance businesses. First, Trosi Tanat Translation, which provides professional Welsh/ English translation services to a wide variety of clients in the public, private and third sectors – both locally and worldwide. My other business is Siop Cwlwm, a retail business with both an online and a bricks and mortar presence. It sells Welsh books, cards and gifts. Both businesses reflect my passion and commitment to the Welsh language, and to securing its future. So, why did you first decide to go freelance? Freelancing was my ambition for many years, but I first got started by operating my own businesses alongside a full-time job. I worked in that way for about eight years until a close family bereavement in 2014 made me re-evaluate my priorities. It gave me the ‘push’ I needed to make my long-held ambition a reality. And although I’d worried about making such a big step into the unknown, I soon discovered I actually had nothing to fear from becoming a freelancer. Why did you decide to enter the National Freelancer of the Year Awards in 2016? I think that basically I wanted to support the growing numbers of freelancers, and also reassure people considering making that step – particularly those, like me, who provide unique services that reflect their personal passions and heritage. I also wanted to help do away with this idea that freelancing is restricted to urban areas, and show that it’s possible in rural areas too. I was keen ipsemagazine.co.uk
to promote Wales and the Welsh language as well. Has being awarded the runner-up prize in 2016 helped your business – and if so, how? The publicity and public recognition have given my business a real boost. I’ve appeared on Welsh language TV and radio programmes, discussing both my award and my freelance businesses. Taking part in the awards process itself was an extremely valuable and enjoyable experience too, because it helped with my personal development and allowed me to recognise my own achievements. It gave me the chance to get a fuller understanding of the benefits of IPSE membership too. I was also able to use the generous prize package to secure more support for my business. One of the main things I used the prize money for was shoring up the infrastructure of my businesses, which has really paid off. One year on from the awards, how are you and your business doing? My translation business has been extremely busy – both with existing and new clients. My retail business has expanded too, with a new location offering a twice-monthly shop and the potential for development. As for me, I’m expecting my first baby in August, so I’m currently planning my maternity leave. I know that can often be a challenge for a freelancer, but I’m confident my freelance status will give me more flexibility for childcare. What have been your greatest achievements over the last year, and what are your biggest upcoming projects? In the last year, I’ve been able to maintain and keep providing an efficient service for my regular clients, and I’ve signed deals with a number of new blue chip clients as well. I’ve also invested in electronic stock control equipment for my retail business, which has made a big difference to my processes and just generally improved the customer experience. At the moment I’m working with Draenog Design developing a new website for Trosi Tanat Translation. It’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do without the prize money.
Paving the way for freelance success By Tom Hayward Aside from all the freedom and benefits, freelancing comes with inherent risks and uncertainty which need to be nullified, therefore IPSE was delighted to shortlist Katy Carlisle, Faye Dicker and Charlotte Wibberley for the inaugural Ambassador of the Year Award. Ambassadors are those working to overcome these uncertainties by making the freelance community stronger, more accessible and more connected. Katy Carlisle drew from her own experiences early in her freelance career when she felt isolated having gone from a busy office environment to working from home. She knew she wasn’t alone, so set about building a community for freelancers to come together to collaborate and fill the personal and professional void that can develop when working from home. Freelance Friday was born and now falls under the umbrella of Freelance Folk, which has big plans beyond just Fridays. Katy said: “I came up with the idea of setting up a session to bring people together. I setup Freelance Friday which is a co-working conversation session at Ziferblat in Manchester. People come along who are freelance or are thinking about becoming freelance; to share ideas, have a chat, talk about different challenges. “We don’t call it a networking group because that puts off people who aren’t comfortable with networking. It’s to reach out to freelancers who are maybe sitting at home struggling, it’s to let them know there’s a community out there who can support them. Because of its success we’re planning to expand into Sheffield.” Faye Dicker created Freelance Mum shortly after the birth of her first daughter. While all her friends were going back to work after their maternity leave ended, Faye, who had always freelanced, struggled to identify with other selfemployed mothers. She started Freelance Mum
podcast and blog but soon realised there was scope for far more. “I just discovered I was in a completely different place and I was unable to identify with fellow freelance mums and I just thought, ‘if this didn’t exist, I was going to have to invent it’,” Faye said. “I was trying to build a community online by sharing stories of fellow freelance mums, but it was only through meeting them that I realised I should invent networking events that allow parents and business to come along, and bring their children. There was clearly a need and now up to 40 mums meet twice a month.” Charlotte Wibberley is a business success coach who runs VIP VA, which was set up to champion, support and nurture the VA industry. She identified the mass increase of people becoming selfemployed and she gives them the support and skills to succeed. “It can be quite isolating working from home, so I wanted to create a support community to help them come together as an industry, but also to provide service development and training,” Charlotte added. “I also connect with non-VA business owners to help them to understand about outsourcing in their business to free up their time. I’ve got around 600 VAs in my network, and a paid community of about 50. “To date there has been no sort of governing body for the VA industry, or anyone saying ‘to run a VA business, you need to have these things in place’. That’s what I’m trying to do, trying to create an industry standard to guarantee the quality of VAs in my community.” The finalists will be assessed on a range of qualities including the support they provide, how they’ve tailored their offering and their overall commitment to improving and championing their freelance community and their business endeavours. The winner will be announced on National Freelancers Day on 8 June.
Finally, what advice do you have for freelancers just starting out in your industry? Firstly, don’t waste time thinking about going freelance – life’s too short! Test your business idea and if you get positive feedback, go into freelancing – you won’t look back (I certainly didn’t!). When you’ve established yourself, take the time to find the right awards to enter – like the Freelancer of the Year Awards. I’ve found investing time in awards means you can reap the rewards in the long-run – both in terms of personal development and business growth. June 2017
Top tips for getting your first client Taking your first steps as a freelancer can be quite daunting. From sorting out your business and financial plans to finding your first client - there is a lot to do. But how can you ensure you get it right the first time? Here are some top tips for landing your first client.
By Jyoti Rambhai Research
According to Elsa Caleb, a business start-up adviser and Rianda Markram, head of content and training at LHS Solicitors, the first thing you need to do is ensure you have identified a market for your services/ products. This is key when it comes to promoting your business and landing clients. Rianda said: “One of the most important things to do when you are starting out as a freelancer is research. There are several areas that you should focus your research on. “Examples include your business structure; knowing where to get advice; getting your contacts right, identifying your target audience; identifying your competitors and having a strategy in place to promote your product or service.” It is also important that before you start looking for your first client, you register with HMRC and have all your administration systems in place. This includes having a clear pricing strategy and up-to-date contracts in place.
Portfolio/CV Having a tailored portfolio of your work as well as CV can be incredibly beneficial when
approaching potential clients. LinkedIn is a great platform for this. Elsa suggested your CV should be up to date, listng all the relevant professional organisations, publications and social media outlets. And your portfolio should not only include relevant examples of your work/services, but endorsements, recommendations, press releases and other forms of publicity.
Developing a strong brand for your business is vital, says Elsa. Make sure that your business stationery also reflects this as well as your social media outlets and website. And use social media as a tool to direct traffic to your site. Having a professional photograph of yourself included as part of your brand can also go a long way to getting clients.
Social media “Social media has been a great friend to freelancers,” says founder of Enterprise Nation, Emma Jones. “It enables you to quickly become an expert in your field and share that expertise with an evergrowing community of fans and followers.”
Creating a strong social media presence is one of the first steps you should take to get yourself out there. Twitter, Facebook for business, LinkedIn and even Instagram can help you network. It is also worth becoming a member of your professional body.
Networking According to Emma, the first step to getting clients starts with making a list. It should include “friends, family and contacts who you think could benefit from your services and approach them with a personalised pitch”.
Stepping into the freelance world
Your pitch should highlight the benefits of what you can deliver to the customer. Emma’s advice is to include a “call to action, so prospective clients know what to do next”. And, as soon as they become paying clients, spread the news, get testimonials. Elsa suggested that when it comes to networking, you can try and raise your profile by speaking at events. You should also identify key networking events with high-profile movers and shakers.
When you are first starting out, chances are you may not have a business premises, so when it comes to meeting potential clients put together a list of possible meeting places, such as hotels or co-working spaces.
Recruitment agency Landing that first client off your own back can be tricky, so an alternative that can help you get going is approaching a recruitment agenc.
Recent IPSE research found that 57 per cent of IPSE members find work through recruitment agencies – by far the biggest means of getting a contract. Opt for an agency that not only specialises in your industry, but also in freelancers and/or contractors. Using recruitment agencies initially is a great way to make contacts and get yourself out there quickly.
Will Wells talks about how he started his company while studying The last thing most students think of doing while studying at university is setting up their very own business – but that is exactly what Will Wells has done. The 21-year-old International Business student set up Founders Media Limited – a company that runs social media accounts for small businesses – just over a year ago, alongside his studies. Will, who is now in his fourth and final year of his course at Nottingham Trent University, says the idea for his business came to him while working for a start-up firm called Childhood, in Malta, as part of his placement year. “I wanted to work in a start-up environment, which is exactly what it was,” he said. “It was an incubator at the University of Malta and my title was marketing intern and I basically did a variety of things from social media, blogging, researching and SEO.” Whilst out in Malta, Will found that his boss – who ran the start-up on his own – did his social media work late at night as he didn’t have time in the day. “This made me realised there must be several businesses in the same situation,” he said. After Malta, the young entrepreneur, who is originally from the Peak District, continued his placement year at The Hive – Nottingham Trent University’s purpose-built centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise – where he saw the opportunity to set up his own business. Speaking about his initial steps, Will said: “I first spoke with one of the business advisers at The Hive. One part of his job was to advise people who
have business ideas on what to do. “After that, I did some market research to validate the idea and see if there was a market demand for it. And also to think about how exactly I would go about building the business and what kind of services would I provide.” After a successful trial, Will is now managing social media accounts for numerous small businesses and start-up companies. In fact, he has clients from all around the world. As a result, he has brought on his friend Yaron to work on the business side of his firm, has a social media account manager, Alina, and is currently recruiting for a second account manager. So what’s next? “We have recently started hosting events teaching entrepreneurs how they can run their social media efficiently,” he said. “So far we have hosted two successful events in Amsterdam and London and are looking to hold the next one in Berlin in June.” With his business up and running in full swing, the question remains, how does he juggle his studies alongside his work? The answer is simple: “being disciplined”. “I structure my day so it includes work and uni. I get up early and ensure I work a full day. I also have somewhere to run my business from at the moment, which is The Hive, and this helps.” When Will graduates this summer, he intends to run Founders Media on a full-time basis and take his business from strength to strength.
Financial guidance Making the complex Simple.
Close Brothers has been inspiring people to make a positive change to their financial future for over 45 years. Our skills and expertise help to make complicated subjects like tax planning, mortgages, pensions, retirement and estate planning easy to understand. We are proud to be selected as the preferred Financial Planning partner for IPSE members. For more information about our programme of dedicated seminars, webinars and online financial education portal, visit: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Telephone calls made to any member of Close Brothers Asset Management may be recorded, Close Brothers Asset Management is a trading name of Close Asset Management Limited (Registered number: 01644127). Close Brothers Group plc, registered in England and Wales and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. ÂŠ Copyright Close Asset Management Limited 2017 CBAM4576 Making complex simple May 17
What’s your retirement plan? The good news? You will probably live longer than you think. The bad news? You will probably live longer than you think. On the surface, a longer life expectancy sounds like something to celebrate. But before you start planning what to do with your later years, you need to think about how you will fund them. And that requires you to know how many years you have left. Why do most of us underestimate how long we will live? In a recent survey, 2,000 people between the ages of 45 and 70 were asked how long they thought they had left in this world. Most people tended to underestimate their number of remaining years. The average man will live two and a half years longer than he expects, representing an underestimation of some 15%. Women underestimated their number of years by even more. The average woman is likely to live nearly
five years longer than she thinks she will. In other words, she has 31% more time left on this earth than she might have accounted for. Why do so many of us underestimate how long we will live? One reason is that the increase in average life expectancy has accelerated dramatically since the mid-1970s. Longevity rates had already been creeping upward since the beginning of the 20th century, but if those trends had remained unchanged, life expectancy should have increased by about a year between 1980 and 2010. Instead, it has risen by six years. It’s been suggested that the first person to live to 150 has alredy been born. What is the solution? A way to manage the risk of outliving your pension pot and savings Recently, we launched Intelligent Retirement®, our new retirement advice service, which includes a modelling tool that demonstrates a range of
income options that are available to you, using your savings, pension(s) and other assets. The tool looks at the potential impact of market movements on investment returns over a period of time, and shows how much your wealth could be worth at each stage of your retirement. It is a visual way to show our clients how much income they can afford to take throughout their retirement, or whether they need to consider reducing their spending. If you think you would benefit from this service, please speak to a member of our Financial Planning team, who will happily arrange a no obligation meeting to discuss how Intelligent Retirement® could help. Please be aware, the value of investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest.
RETIREMENT TIPS FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS: •
Currently there is over £400 million in unclaimed pension savings in the UK and we may have a number of different jobs in a lifetime, so it can be very easy to lose track of where your savings are. Go to the Pension Tracing Service and instantly get the right contact details of former employers so you can reclaim what is yours.
Consider consolidating your pensions. Whilst a good way of keeping track of your pension plans is to transfer them and keep them together under one roof, make sure you take care to consider any valuable guarantees, such as Guaranteed Annuity Rates or pension amounts that may be lost on transfer. As this is a complex area, you’ll need to take specialist advice to help you make the right decision. Most pension providers won’t accept a transfer unless you’ve received advice.
If you’re approaching retirement, take time to review your State Pension entitlement. Given so many changes, it is worth keeping your finger on the pulse and looking at what you may need to do to top up to the maximum entitlement available, particularly if you are a woman.
Work out how much income you need per year – your bills, food, entertainment, holidays, maintenance, travel and gifts you want to give. Interestingly, after a short period of adjustment in retirement, spending tends to go down. In general, people overestimate how much they actually spend, benefiting from more daytime deals and being more cautious about spending their money.
Always be wary of scammers when making changes to your personal pension. If someone rings up to tell you about a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so before any action, speak to an FCA regulated firm for advice.
Close Brothers are proud to be selected as the preferred Financial Advice partner for IPSE, providing members with access to financial planning, investments and guidance. For more information about the programme of dedicated seminars, webinars and online financial education portal, visit ipse.co.uk/closebrothers
IPSE drives on with Uber partnership IPSE has launched a new partnership with Uber, which will mean that UK drivers using the app can access a range of benefits, including illness and injury cover. By Jyoti Rambhai
o how does it work? Drivers who have been logging in to Uber frequently in the past six weeks and have completed at least 500 trips can access IPSE’s membership offer. The benefits drivers will gain from joining IPSE include: •
Sickness and injury cover up to £2,000 – This will be based on an average of the previous three months’ earnings, and if they are unable to work for two weeks or more. Jury service cover up to £2,000 – Again, this will be based on the average earnings of the previous three months, for up to ten days. Access to free advice and support – This will include advice on paying tax as well as personal finance issues, such as mortgages, pensions and saving for the future.
IPSE has worked hard to offer membership to a growing part of the self-employment industry. And its partnership with Uber is a step towards better reflecting the reality of the industry in the UK today.
Chris Bryce, chief executive of IPSE, said: “IPSE is excited to partner with Uber and the thousands of self-employed drivers who use the app. “In addition to gaining valuable illness and injury cover, drivers will benefit from being part of the UK’s largest voice dedicated to supporting the selfemployed community. “It is part of IPSE’s mission to represent all self-employed people, and welcoming drivers who use Uber into the fold helps us achieve this.” Jo Bertram, regional general manager of Uber in the UK, said: “Drivers who make money through Uber tell us they love the freedom of being their own boss and choosing if, when, and where they drive.” There are more than 40,000 licensed private hire drivers who use the Uber app in over 25 cities and towns across the UK. Last year, drivers using the app made an average of £15 an hour after the Uber service fee. ORB International surveyed a thousand Uber drivers across the UK, looking at their attitudes towards the app. They found that nearly nine out of ten drivers were either “very” or “somewhat satisfied” driving
with Uber, with 87 per cent saying that they would recommend the service to another. The survey also revealed that a ratio of roughly five to one of drivers stated that they preferred being able to choose their own hours over having perks such as holiday pay, which come with being employed. Around 94 per cent of drivers said they joined Uber so they could be their own boss and choose the hours they worked. One in two drivers who use Uber also revealed that since using the app, their overall income has increased, while 56 per cent claimed their work/ life balance had significantly improved. Although the flexibility of using Uber attracted many drivers – many of whom had previously worked at a taxi or mini cab firm (35 per cent) – the company has also been criticised for the way it was run and how it treated its drivers. Ms Bertram added: “Drivers have also told us they want more security if something unexpected happens. We want Uber to be the best possible experience so we’ll carry on listening to drivers about further improvements we can make to our app.”
So what do the drivers think? When IPSE announced its partnership with Uber, many drivers got in touch to register their interest. So we asked a couple of them their thoughts on IPSE’s membership offer, and why they chose to partner with Uber.
Freelancing isn’t free in New York New York City has passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act which came into force on 15 May. The Act, called for by the Freelancers Union, are the country’s first piece of legislation designed to protect the self-employed from non-paying clients. The law calls for freelancers be paid in full for work worth $800 or more. Clients who fail to pay freelancers will find themselves subject to financial penalties. In the UK, the search is on for a Small Business Commissioner who will deal with payment issues on this side of the Atlantic. The new appointment will begin working in October
IPSE submits evidence to the Taylor review
John Ormond, London I used to be in management hospitality – hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs for thirty years, starting from the bottom. But now I’m working with Uber and I think it’s great – especially because of the flexibility you get. The beauty of Uber is logging in and logging out when you want. And what’s more, we now have a bit of security thanks to the partnership with IPSE. I mean, when you’re driving a car eight to ten hours a day, four to five days a week, anything could happen. So it’s great to get cover for as little as £2 a week. In fact, I registered my interest with IPSE just a few days after I got the email about the partnership. Of course, it may not be useful in the sense that hopefully I’ll never have to use it. But I’m starting to look at getting advice on tax and pensions too.
John Campbell, Glasgow Before becoming a partner with Uber, I worked as a chef in a number of Glasgow restaurants. I’ve really enjoyed working for myself, but there have been downsides too. I had jury service a few weeks ago, and that meant I had to take a few days off with no money coming in. So I think this partnership with IPSE is really good, and I registered my interest straight after reading the email. It’s useful for me because when it comes down to it, my mortgage, my rent and everything else all depend on me being able to drive. Without this, if I sprained my leg going down the stairs, I wouldn’t be able to drive and I’d be off work without any money coming in.
A statutory definition of self-employment must be created to end confusion and ensure working for yourself is viewed as a positive, valuable way of working. IPSE made this call in its official submission to the Taylor Review of modern employment practices. Having appeared in front of one of Matthew Taylor’s panel sessions in March, IPSE has now submitted its official response to the review, in which is laid out clear steps government should take to ensure self-employment remains a positive and attractive way of working. Read more at ipse.co.uk
Traditional employment model is outdated, says CBI Policy makers must embrace new ways of working and theories that all workers favoured traditional employment are “lazy” and “outdated”, the CBI said in its official submission to the Taylor Review into modern employment practices. The CBI said the UK’s flexible labour market was one of its “invaluable strength” and had been driving record employment rates and the country’s competitiveness. Choice is a critical part of the UK labour market – meeting staff needs in a more complex world as well as the needs of business,” the submission said. While passing a new law has become the lever of choice for successive governments, the next government must rediscover its role as a steward of good employee relations rather than a regulator alone.”
IPSE partners with Close Brothers IPSE is delighted to announce a new partnership with Close Brothers, through which members will get access to a wide range of financial education and advice services. Close Brothers work with many of the UK’s best-known employers, providing financial education services to their staff to help improve financial wellbeing throughout their careers. They also work with many self-employed individuals, partners in professional service firms, entrepreneurs and business owners, and so are perfectly placed to help IPSE members.
The freelancer’s guide to Auckland With its stunning landscapes and central business district, Auckland – the largest city in New Zealand – is an up and coming jewel for freelancers By Sophie Gibson
nyone who’s been will tell you nothing quite compares to the magic and mystery of New Zealand. Yes, you can catch a glimpse of it in The Lord of the Rings films, but it’s so much more. The largest city on the two islands is Auckland, which nestles near the tip of the north island. Here exists a beautiful synergy between urban and wilderness lifestyles that is perfect for adventurous freelancers. EXPLORING THE LANDSCAPE Auckland is split in two by the sea. Water surrounds you and is a big part of life. Lots of people commute in on the ferries, which skirt around the edge of the mainland and drop you off in the Central Business District (CBD). In the evenings, the journey home involves watching the sunset over the water. Beautiful islands are dotted around the coastline close to the city. Rangitoto is a favourite. It’s a dormant volcano that popped out of the sea 600 years ago, and stands majestically watching over the city. Views from the top are second to none. In the city itself, there are three dormant volcanoes that make for great walks – One Tree Hill (no connection to the popular TV show), Mt 32
Eden and Mt Wellington. You’re certainly never short on places to visit for inspiration. LIFE AS A FREELANCER Sprawling over this mystical landscape is a modern and bustling city. Big sectors in the Auckland region include public relations, tourism, construction and technology. To get set up as a freelancer, you first need an IRD number from Inland Revenue. Without this, you can’t get paid by a New Zealand client. As of April 2017, contractors/freelancers receiving certain types of scheduler payments will have income tax deducted before payment is made. It’s important to read up on these changes and get the right information that applies to your situation. There are also two schemes to be aware of – ACC and KiwiSaver. The first involves regular payments to help cover medical costs if you have an accident anywhere (there’s no NHS out here) and the second is a government scheme to save for retirement. Neither are compulsory, but are worth looking into even if you’re in New Zealand for a short while. Once you’re set up, finding co-working spots isn’t hard. The Generator is one of those industrial chic ones in the city centre. It has comfy and cool ipsemagazine.co.uk
furniture if you’re thinking of staying for the day. Membership can be casual, part-time or full-time. Movers&Shakers is also a good central choice. The trendiest part of Auckland is Karangahape Road (or ‘K Road’ if you’re a local), and it has become synonymous with stylish food joints and coffee shops that double up as great workplaces. Verona Cafe in a 1920s building has excellent food. It has big windows letting the light in but provides shelter if, like me, you’re still not used to the NZ sun. Being the largest city in New Zealand also means a great nightlife for when you’ve finished working. Britomart in the CBD has had a revamp and has some excellent choices. Check out The Caretaker if you want to be wooed by the cocktails. It’s also home to a delicious late-night dessert bar, Milse. WHERE TO STAY AND HOW TO GET THERE Public transport is not as good as it could be for a city that covers such a large area. But the buses are quite extensive and fairly reliable. There are also big plans to extend the train and bus networks over the next ten years. Get yourself a HOP card – a kiwi version of the Oyster card – to save money. Just remember to tap off the buses. Here, the car is king. But with a recent population increase, journey times have become long. It has also affected living costs. Average rent prices have risen in Auckland and can vary from $425 to $682 per week (£227 to £365 at the time of writing) for a two bedroom flat. Just renting a room, of course, is cheaper. Whatever you’re looking for, the best place to find accommodation is on TradeMe. The exchange rate is one thing to keep your eye on though as it has had a rollercoaster ride over the last year, and could change a whole lot more as 2017 plays out. June 2017
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER MOVING HERE Auckland is a beautiful place where modernity meets ancient lands. Tired of an office environment? Go climb a volcano. Bored with doing work for a while? Go kayaking around the bay with dolphins. It’s a bustling, growing city where two worlds meet and exist beautifully together. If Auckland isn’t quite for you, how about these other New Zealand cities: WELLINGTON On 4 May 2017, Deutsche Bank research revealed Wellington as the best place to live in the world. It may not be the size of Auckland – you can walk around the city – but it’s the capital and has a certain buzz to it. It is also the gateway to the south island, which has mountains to die for. CHRISTCHURCH The city is still recovering from the latest earthquakes, but is doing so in its own creative way. The south island has this magical feel too that’s hard to explain. It’s got interesting art institutions to visit and is traditionally the most English of New Zealand cities. Perfect for a taste of home.
Could robots destroy freelancing? A look at how virtual machines could pose a threat to the freelancing industry By Gemma Church
he rise of the machines has started and it has got the workforce worried – but the freelance community is perfectly placed to buck this trend and flourish under the robot revolution. The increase in automation and machinebased learning is predicted to hit the employment space hard. More than 10 million UK workers are at high risk of being replaced by robots in the next 15 years, according to a recent report by consultancy firm PwC. Don’t panic. The Consumer Spending Prospects and the Impact of Automation on Jobs report also predicts that automation will boost productivity and create fresh job opportunities in service sectors that are less easy to automate. Another report, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Their Impact on the Workplace, from the International Bar Association (IBA),
identifies the creation of new job roles as the automation of routine tasks gathers pace. One such role is the “crowdworker”, who is a freelancer that offers their skills via an online platform. In other words, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence will not curb freelancing but enable more people to join the selfemployment sector, according to Dr Gerlind Wisskirchen, partner at law firm CMS and co-author of the IBA report. Dr Wisskirchen said: “It will increase the number of freelancers and self-employed people. “We can already see that in the US, where 39 per cent of all workers are freelancers, and this will rise to 50 per cent in the next three years due to the gig economy and the changing structure of how companies do work.” For example, companies will be less concerned with employing the right person for the job – but finding the right person for a specific project. Digitisation is an enabler, as remote working teams can be formed across multiple locations. “It is not just a chance for freelancers but for everyone,” Dr Wisskirchen added. Freelancers will shine in this competitive marketplace because they are result-driven and competitive due to the nature of the self-employment sector, according to Dr Wisskirchen. He said: “Freelancers have many
advantages over other employees – but the risk of being replaced by robots or algorithms is alike for employees and freelancers and mainly depends on the type of work. “The more repetitive and monotonous the work is, the higher the risk.” ROBOT WARS So, how can you make sure your work is protected as a freelancer? Creativity could be your most important commodity in this brave new world. A recent report by the UK-based innovation and
Labour previously argued that the UK Government had its priorities “absolutely wrong ” because it was willing to cut corporation tax, yet raise taxes for the selfemployed. The unions also need to re-evaluate their stance on the self-employment sector as it grows due to the rise in automation. Dr Wisskirchen added: “It’s very striking that the unions have not started to see how freelancers could add to their membership numbers and expand their business models.” THE ROBOT REVOLUTION IS ONLY THE START OF THE STORY. It is not a threat to the self-employed sector, but more an opportunity. An opportunity for real legislative change to give the increasing number of freelancers the rights they deserve as this way of working becomes the norm. Just as automation and artificial intelligence will enter the mainstream employment sector on a scale never seen before, so will freelancers. It’s less of a robot revolution and more of a workforce evolution, and the adaptability and creativity of freelancers mean we will not just survive, but thrive in this brave new world.
research foundation, Nesta, found that creative jobs are more resistant to automation. This doesn’t mean we need more actors, artists and other creative souls. In the future, critical and problem-orientated thinking skills will be in high demand. The Nesta Creativity vs Robots report estimates 24 per cent of UK jobs require people to be highly creative in sectors including education, management, computers, engineering and science. WORKING WITH AI Another avenue that freelancers could exploit is the increasing demand for machine learning and user experience design skills. Freelancing platform Upwork revealed that the fastest growing skill in demand on its site during quarter 4 of 2016 was natural language processing – a field of computer science where the interaction between computing languages and human language is developed. In other words, it’s the nuts and bolts behind your interactions with Siri or your Amazon Echo device. “As society becomes more and more specialised, businesses will rely on freelancers with the most current skills. Take natural language processing, for example – hiring freelancers allows businesses access to sharply honed skills that simply aren’t available elsewhere,” Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel said in a statement.
A CHANCE FOR CHANGE The knock-on effects of increased automation could also enable real legislative change for the self-employment sector as numbers grow. Healthcare and pension benefits are two key areas that need addressing according to Dr Wisskirchen, who said: “This is where the government needs to step in. We need to give freelancers a certain level of social security.” This is certainly an area where the UK
Just as automation and artificial intelligence will enter the mainstream employment sector on a scale never seen before, so will freelancers Government is lagging behind as its policies are more reflective of the working situation for the masses in the 19th century, as opposed to the 21st century when self-employment is on the rise. As the recent debacle around the planned and then rejected proposal to increase national insurance contributions for the self-employed shows, the Conservatives underestimate the strength of the self-employment sector. Opposition parties may try to take advantage of this issue during the election campaign.
Co-working & Coffee By Tom Hayward To trace the roots of Ziferblat, a pay-by-theminute co-working space nestled in the heart of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, you have to travel to Moscow, 2011. ‘Pocket Poetry’ was a concept founded by Ivan Mitin who left laminated poetry cards around the streets of the Russian capital. People would find the cards, email the address printed on them and arrange a social or work-related meet-up. As the group expanded, Mitin realised the venues they were occupying were not fit for purpose. Mitin opened Treehouse for Adults, which was initially funded by donations until growth demanded the need to charge. Guests were charged one rouble per minute, initially as a joke, but the venue’s popularity boomed and thus was born the first in a portfolio of co-working spaces that now includes Ziferblat, Edge Street. Ziferblat, a self-styled home away from home, is exactly that. Comfortable sofas, warm lamps and thick rugs spread across a giant 3,000 square foot sitting room creating a relaxed, warm, laid-back atmosphere. The venue also has studios, classrooms and meeting rooms accommodating for events, workshops and a multitude of activities. Ziferblat has identified a niche, but how does it differ from a traditional co-working space? Visitors pay eight pence per minute – six pence for the meeting rooms – which includes unlimited access to tea, coffee, cake, snacks and Wi-Fi. There is a four-hour cap, after which guests can stay as long as they like at no extra cost. “There are lots of co-working spaces available at the moment, which is a good thing,” Ben Davies, Ziferblat Head of Marketing, told IPSE in the homely sitting room. “But I think almost all of them operate on a monthly membership model. “We are aware of several businesses who use us as their permanent base, but are only with
clients twice a week. If they’re paying a monthly membership, they’re paying for space that they might not need. “We’re trying to allow that ultimate flexibility where you’re almost working from home, but not at home. We’re conscious a lot of people want to try and separate their home and work environments. “We are still expanding due to our ability to create that real community atmosphere where people feel comfortable and want to come back. We see ourselves as an alternative to a café or coworking space. “When it comes to co-working we have a large portion of freelancers. We have over 10,000 guests through the doors each month.” To try and place a label on Ziferblat would be a major disservice. “We also run events for the community like yoga, gigs, martial arts, guitar lessons, knitting groups, baby raves, calligraphy workshops, origami classes, illustration groups, creative writing groups, board game groups, book groups,” Davies continued. “The idea is to create an inclusive space for people to use as they want, as long as they respect it. “Our end goal is to open 50 across the UK. We think we can put one in every provincial city with an active urban culture.” Ziferblat currently has other venues in London, Liverpool and a newly opened branch in Media City, Manchester. For more information, visit www.ziferblat.co.uk ipsemagazine.co.uk
NATIONAL FREELANCERS DAY 2017 PROGRAMME 13.00 – 13.30 Registration and Refreshments Exhibition, networking, complimentary professional headshots and collaboration zone 13.30 – 14.14 Q&A facilitated discussion – Election Day Forecast – what will the next 5 years look like for self-employment? Andy Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Policy and External Affairs will discuss the tumultuous events of the last year and look ahead to the next Parliament. Brexit, changes to IR35, the aborted rise in Class 4 National Insurance Contributions and the emergence of the ‘gig economy’ 14.30 – 15.15 WORKSHOP BLOCK 1 (choose one of the following sessions) New to Freelancing: • How to use your online presence to drive new business presentation with LinkedIn? •
Developing your networks with Forward Ladies – Griselda Togobo, owner and managing director of Forward Ladies gives top tips on how to successfully network and build business relationships
Experienced • Finances for independent professionals – ask the experts your questions with Contractor Mortgages Made Easy, HSBC, Abbey Tax and Aegon pensions •
15.45 – 16.15 WORKSHOP BLOCK 2 (choose one of the following sessions) New to Freelancing: • Billing, banking and book keeping – learn how to handle your business finances with HSBC, Experian and Moore and Smalley Accountants and one of IPSE’s Freelancer of the year Awards finalist from a previous year. •
Using your early contacts to building momentum and increase your rates with Freelancer.com
Experienced • How to manage your money with the future in mind with Close Brothers •
The legal part – ensuring your contract doesn’t catch you out with LHS Solicitors LLP
Students • Success stories of past IPSE Freelancer of the Year Award winners and finalists 16.15 – 17.00 BREAK Refreshments, exhibition, networking, complimentary professional headshots and collaboration zone. 17.00 National Freelancers Day closes
Boosting your career prospects and securing higher paying contracts with Kelly OCG
Students • Setting up as a freelancer – what you need to know to get started with LHS Solicitors LLP, Freelancer.com, aformer IPSE award winner, LHS start up and Freelancer Club 15:15 – 15:45 BREAK Refreshments, exhibition, networking, complimentary professional headshots and collaboration zone
IPSE helping you plan for your future Save for your retirement with IPSE pension partner Aegon. Why use the IPSE Pension offer: Benefit for the special negotiated group rate of 0.43%* Investment made easy with Aegonâ€™s Retiready platform Access a range of retirement saving options, such as ISAâ€™s Find out more: www.ipse.co.uk/futures Or call Aegon on 0345 680 1234 quote IPSE Pension
*Rate applies to standard package, rate may vary depending on contribution level and account settings
Published on Jun 1, 2017
IPSE Magazine General Election Special. Read about what the parties are promising the self-employed. Also in this issue: Freelancer Awards,...