Lord Young says Freelancers help Small and Growing Businesses

Writing in today’s Telegraph, Lord Young – the government’s Enterprise Tsar – recognised that more and more small and growing businesses are using freelancers and contractors to avoid the too heavy burden of employment legislation.

He says “There is much anecdotal evidence that large companies, and some small ones too, are resorting to the increasing use of freelancers to maintain the flexibility that their business requires.”

Lord Young is right to note the shift to freelancing – but wrong to think that this can be reversed.

Once businesses over come the issues of how to hire and manage a freelance or virtual pool of talent, then there will be no going back. Or, to put it another way, once the genie is out of the bottle – can’t just put him back.

Enterpreneurs and business owners are learning that not only do freelancers save them endless headaches and hidden legal liabilities but that they also bring a more commercial and motivated mindset.

Research conducted among our readers in Sept 2010 found that the key benefit of freelancers was higher motivation.

This is not really surprising as the skills and attitudes required to succeed as a freelancer are a more commercial mindset and a willingness to get the job done.

Equally, as employment has become an increasingly legalistic process of endless contract consultations and rights assessements, so this process inevitably breaks the ‘just do it’ spirit of even the best employee.

Instead, let’s ask Lord Young to repeal IR35, to stop penalising people because they work as freelancers, but instead see this source of skill and talent as the workforce that will drive the new recovery.

Playing with employment law, repealing bits here and there, is like rearranging the desk chairs on the Titanic.

Employment as a strategy for growth businesses is sunk. Let’s accept this, move on, and find ways to better engage with freelancers. Lord Young asks for feedback – why not click here to send him your thoughts…

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Written by Editor on November 11, 2010 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Freelancers, Opinion , , ,

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