The NHF has once again demanded action on the inequalities between those who employ staff and those who use self-employed labour. A series of changes it wants to see concerning VAT and national insurance were laid out during a round-table meeting with Margot James, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility earlier this month.
The federation has asked for the self-employed National Insurance contributions to be raised to the same level as those paid by employers. It also wants VAT to be reduced from 20% to 5% and the VAT threshold to decrease from £85,000 to £40,000 or less, to ensure that more businesses, including the self-employed, would pay VAT but at a much lower rate. Finally, the NHF is seeking better protection for the self-employed via a new ‘dependent contractor’ status recommended by the Review, backed up by a written statement of their rights.
The meeting was to get views from key stakeholders on how the government should respond to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The Review, as reported on Modern Barber in July, identified that businesses relying on self-employed labour have a significant market advantage over those who employ their staff.
The NHF’s chief executive, Hilary Hall said, “Dependent contractor status is likely to apply to the self-employed working in salons or barbershops. The NHF’s highly successful chair renting agreements already provide a clear statement of rights and responsibilities, not only for self-employed workers but also for the business owner, providing a perfect blueprint for the future.”