A string of anti-micro-business policy decisions has left the Conservative Government with scant support in the freelancer and contractor communities. Research we have conducted amongst our client base has thrown into stark relief just how low opinions of policymakers has fallen.

We surveyed 1,070 freelancers, contractors and micro-business owners to gauge the impact of the rumoured one-month rule, and our results show many more businesses would be impacted than the leaked estimate of 100,000.

Over 80% of respondents said they regularly spend more than one month continuously on-site with clients – the measure purportedly being considered by lawmakers as a yardstick for moving workers onto PAYE.

Also troubling is that almost as high a percentage of our clients reported they would cease trading as a micro-business if the rumoured new rules passed into law. We believe the Government has significantly underestimated the impact these changes would have on the UK’s flexible workforce, and we are urging them to reconsider.

Most troublingly for George Osborne, the impact of the upcoming dividend tax changes, efforts to strengthen IR35,  and the rumoured new payroll rules have meant cratering support for the Government amongst micro-businesses. When asked if they thought the Government understood and supported them, just 0.1% of our 1,070 respondents said yes (for those with a keen eye for maths – yes, that’s just one person). An overwhelming 88% responded no, with 12% undecided.

Wednesday’s Autumn Statement could be a watershed moment for the Government in terms of support for micro-business, and we urge them to make the right choice and not decimate the world of freelancing and contracting.

Photo by Barney Moss

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