The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has issued two releases criticising IR35 and exclusions from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for their negative impact on limited company directors and the wider freelancer sector.
Despite SEISS recently being expanded to include the newly self-employed, the directors of limited companies, who number over 700,000 within the UK according to the IPSE, continue to be excluded as the scheme enters its fourth round.
The body said that, without government assistance during the pandemic and with the added pressure of IR35, many limited company directors had accrued significant debts. It called on the government to do more to support this segment of the freelance workforce.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at the IPSE, said: “Many freelancers in this group have taken a severe financial hit during the pandemic and had to take on unmanageable levels of debt just to get by. Now, as the race to open up the economy begins, directors of limited companies are hamstrung compared to the other freelancers and small companies who have received targeted support.”
The IPSE has also reacted to recent ONS data showing a drop of 700,000 in freelancer numbers from January 2020 to January 2021. It said that this problem had been exacerbated by exclusions from SEISS and the IR35 changes, initially scheduled for April 2020, but delayed until April 2021.
Andy Chamberlain asserted that SEISS exclusions and IR35 had left freelancers “undermined and disadvantaged compared to the rest of the workforce and economy” and called on the government to put forward new measures to help the sector recover.
Author: Steven English