Ed Balls Vows to Crackdown on ‘Bogus’ Self-Employed

27 - 09 - 2012

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has promised to fight the problem of ‘bogus self-employment’ in the construction industry and more widely.

According to Mr Balls, up to 300,000 construction workers are falsely registered as self-employed, costing the Treasury an estimated £350 million in unpaid taxes. 
In a speech to the Trade Unions Congress in Brighton recently, he condemned construction firms that coerce employees into signing false contracts in order to avoid paying them sick pay, holiday pay and pensions.
‘On the issue of bogus self-employment in the construction sector and more widely, I am determined that we look at this issue again. There is a careful balance to be struck. I do not want in any way to undermine genuine self-employment. But nor should contractual arrangements be distorted and misrepresented to avoid tax and undermine terms and conditions.’ Mr Balls said.
The plans to tackle employment scams in the building industry have been gladly received by the construction union, Ucatt. 

Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said: ‘We warmly welcome this initiative. Labour is listening to ordinary construction workers and ourselves. There is a growing understanding that bogus self-employment is not simply about a loss of revenue to the Treasury but it also strips workers of even the most basic employment rights.’

He added: ‘Bogus self-employment corrupts the entire industry, creating a short-termist hire and fire culture which among many other problems reduces safety and deters vitally needed apprenticeship training.’

Thinking of Going Self-Employed?
Working for yourself can be both personally and financially rewarding but if you have never been self-employed before you may have questions about the regulations and legislation you need to follow.  
If you are thinking of becoming a contractor, freelancer, sole trader or other self-employed professional, you can access free initial advice by contacting us on 01244 635 500.
You can also get an instant overview of how much you could take home by using our free tax calculator, Contracalc






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