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The world of work has moved on while the discrimination and misnomers have not

Monday, April 13, 2015

ICA was contacted by an independent contractor last week, upset that he’d been told he had to become an employee. He consults to a large, international IT company and was three months into a 12-month contract. He refused and has left them.

The point he made was that if an employee is forced to become an independent contractor, the employer would face sham contracting action. Yet when the reverse happens, there’s nothing. It shows the institutional and attitudinal hypocrisy displayed towards self-employed people. It’s a discrimination that we at ICA are dedicated to fighting.

But this is not something isolated to Australia. The Irish President has declared that its tax discrimination against self-employed people has to stop and they are making moves in that direction.

At least in the United Kingdom they seem to have woken up to the new world of work.
  • The Bank of England has declared that there is little sign of ‘hidden’ jobless in their self-employment boom.
  • Further, the BOE says that it’s ‘silver entrepreneurs’ driving much of the self-employment growth.  The evidence is mounting that as people age and are healthy they want to keep working – but as their own boss. In Australia we’ve seen businesses dedicated to helping these entrepreneurs. Look here at Performance Drivers. 
  • ‘Silver entrepreneurs’ are part of the ‘independent professionals’ (iPros) surge that’s happening in Europe,  increasing in the last decade by 50 per cent to 9 million individuals.

Related to this is this argument put forward in The Economist that there’s a link between firm size and income inequality. The bigger the size of firms in an economy, the more income inequality exists. If this is valid, there’s a big social equity reason for removing self-employment discrimination. Presumably, higher numbers of self-employed people will aid income equality.


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