Articles - 19th December 2018

Time To Breathe

It seems to be the hardest part of the freelance process for many people; allowing yourself time to take a break. When you live in a constant back and forth between what can feel like no work and being drowned in work, taking a chance to have some time off can feel daunting. Some people seem to work right up until Christmas Eve, literally making sure they don’t miss a single opportunity to work.

Freelancing is a marathon, not a sprint, and taking that time to take care of yourself should be seen as an investment in your future work.

So, before you sign off for Christmas, here’s the news of the week.

The government has introduced what it claims to be the biggest package of workplace reforms for 20 years. This comes after concerns that ministers have failed to appeal to voters who are “just about managing”, as Theresa May put it in her first speech as Prime Minister in 2016.

The reforms will stop the unfair use of contracts which allow businesses to opt out of equal pay arrangements for agency employees. Measures will also be taken to ensure that seasonal workers are given the paid time off they are entitled to. These reforms are based upon Matthew Taylor’s recommendations in his review into the gig economy.

However, little progress has been made on the rights for unions to organise themselves, leaving people to be treated like disposable labour. Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, recommends that all workers are given the right to create unions to bargain for the rights of workers and that until then “contract workers will have no more leverage than Oliver Twist.” IPSE have confirmed that they are “cautiously optimistic” about the government reform.

Uber is still waiting for a result on its appeal to find whether drivers are “workers” and are owed a national minimum wage and paid holiday. This afternoon, senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London should give their judgement. The previous ruling found Uber’s agreements contained “fictions and twisted language with terminology that did not correspond with reality”, and that it was fair for Mr Aslam and Mr Farrar to disregard the contracts as they would have been impossible to maintain.

New ways of stimulating retirement saving among Britain’s self-employed will be unveiled this week, moving the Department for Work and Pensions forward in their promise to cater for those with irregular incomes.

The Government has backed a major new education programme that aims to support millions of young people considering a career in the creative industries by linking schools and colleges with creative industry figures.

£2m of public money and £12m in-kind industry support has been allocated to the creative careers programme, which hopes to enable meaningful encounters with creative businesses for 160,000 students by 2020, and provide around two million young people across the UK with better online and in-person creative careers advice.

Happy (almost) Christmas!

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