IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is calling on the Government to provide improved access to workhubs, broadband and 4G coverage so that those working independently have the
infrastructure they need to flourish.
The representative body for the UK’s self-employed freelancers, contractors, consultants and independent professionals says such measures are easy to implement and would be relatively cost neutral.
Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE, said: “Without collaborative working space and effective broadband and mobile coverage the selfemployed will not be able to exist and prosper as businesses.”
McVicker argues that councils should do much more to enable empty premises to be converted into workhubs, for example by extending permitted development rights and 100% business rate relief to workhubs.
He said: “Community workspaces enable the self-employed to build networks, share contacts and work collaboratively. Despite this, operating costs are high and those using workhubs are essentially paying business rates indirectly, while other small businesses are exempt. Extending the 100% business rate relief to workhubs will ensure the selfemployed who use workhubs are offered the same incentive to grow their business.”
IPSE is also calling on the Government to improve the UK’s communications infrastructure. Its recommendations include a commitment to a maximum ratio between the fastest and slowest broadband speeds to address the growing urban/rural divide; accelerated 4G roll-out through mast-sharing; and free WiFi on all trains for all passengers.