Media reports over the last few days suggesting that Transport for London has encouraged some staff to be paid “off the books” along with other organisations like the BBC need to be addressed immediately argues the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association fearing that all legitimate freelancers and contractors will be tarnished with the same brush.
Julia Kermode, CEO of the FCSA believes that such reports are a misrepresentation of the sector as a whole and does not paint a clear picture about the roles being undertaken. They do not appear to recognise the important role of freelancers and contractors in the modern workforce
Said Julia Kermode: “If any contractors at any organisation are working inappropriately then it is unacceptable and should be stamped out now. Suggesting that the workers are “off the books” implies something underhand. In reality, most freelancers and contractors work legitimately and compliantly off payroll. By definition, freelancers and contractors are not employees, but are procured to provide services to the business and therefore would not be part of an organisation’s payroll.
“Increasingly, many organisations rely on freelancers and contractors as they enable businesses to be agile and scale up or down according to demand. Individuals working for themselves are in a very different position to an employee – they have no job security or benefits, and are taking significant personal risk in choosing to work this way.
“ We must redress the balance and change the perception that all temporary workers are tax avoiders and evaders. We should be nurturing these workers not penalising them.
“I would urge the Chancellor to be sure of all the facts before he makes any broad sweeping changes in Wednesday’s Budget that will affect all contractors, many of whom are working compliantly and within HMRC’s rules.