Finding a Voice: Will the New Contracting ‘Tsar’ Really Speak Up For Contractors’ Interests?
Finally the UK’s growing army of freelancers and contractors will have a presence at the heart of Government. At least, that is the vision behind the role of MP David Morris. The Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunsdale has job of ‘tsar’, or ‘ambassador’, to the UK Government on behalf of some 4.5million independent UK workers.
For some insight on exactly what the new role may entail, why contractors and freelancers need this kind of representation, and what challenges may lie ahead, we caught up with Umbrella Director Miles Grady, “I think its safe to say that the appointment of David Morris has been met with some relief in the freelancing and contracting communities.”
“We are now talking about 15% of UK workers being considered freelance, or independent workers. The lack of a consistent reference point; not having that person at a policy and governmental level; has been a bugbear for some time. It has reflected concerns that successive UK Governments just haven’t recognised the huge importance contractors have for the economy and job health of this country.”
“David Morris has a big job on his hands. We need to see him represent the real concerns of the contracting community to the heart of Government. There are pressures over pensions, the rules around maternity pay for mothers who are making up huge numbers of Britain’s swelling contracting and freelancing workforce.”
“As a small business owner himself, it is likely that Mr Morris will already have some knowledge of the intricate challenges posed by those who work outside of the dominant corporate power structures of the UK PLC landscape. That is an encouraging start, as is the news that he seems determined to visit age-old issues such as taxation and the ubiquitous red-tape labyrinth that is so restrictive to freelance trade.”
“Knowing that there is a dedicated voice for the interests of so many millions of UK workers is certainly a strident step forward. Now we must let Mr Morris settle into the role, and hope he can live up to his promise to look after the interests of the self-employed.”