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ICA Executive Director ponders the nature of work

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Against a backdrop of 'revolutionary' social and political developments in 2016, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has posted a new blog which looks at the prospects for the new world of work in the year ahead. Noting the seemingly unstoppable growth of all forms of self-employment, Ken also examines some of the adverse reactions to self-employment and surveys some recent (and quite diverse) academic discussion about the value of 'being your own boss'. You can read Ken's full blog post hereMore...


To gig or not to gig? Fairness and the new economy

Monday, August 08, 2016

This month, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has an article in Flying Solo explaining why the new unfair contract laws for small business people are so significant. It’s a rather timely article because the ACCC has just released a new guide to the laws.

It’s worth being aware of your rights as a ‘solo’ business person under these new laws. These Australian laws are a global first. It’s these sort of laws that will make the ‘gig’ economy fairer and hence sustainable as a new business model.  More...


Self-employed update: Do we really need saving from ourselves?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

At ICA, we come across all sort of weird attacks on the self-employed. But one of the strangest is that we ‘screw over ourselves’. That was the argument mounted in California’s self-described ‘premier monthly business publication’, Comstock.

The ‘save us from ourselves’ argument was essentially the justification for Australia’s recent (fortunately failed) attempt to destroy the businesses of 35,000 owner-drivers. Lawyers are preparing the case for the class action to recover losses. Info here.  More...


Politics isn't all that confusing. Really??

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Even a casual observer of US politics would be aware of the wild circus happening around Donald Trump. The core of the Trump ‘issue’ is the rejection of party political ‘machines’ stomping on the will of the people.

Even Trump’s most likely (fellow) Republican contender, Tea Party Congressman Ted Cruz, is an anti-Republican machine person. He’s led the Tea Party in pushing for smaller (no deficit) government against both Republicans and Democrats. But even the Tea Party describes Trump as a ‘narcissistic demagogue’. Could Trump win the Republican nomination? Here’s an excellent New York Times article explaining the Republican Convention voting process. Now there’s confusion! More...


UK self-employment surges—again

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It’s happened again. Self-employment in the United Kingdom has risen again, this time by 154,000 in the three months to December 2015, thereby making up more than half of the increase in UK jobs. We’ve been observing this since 2013. You’d think this surge in self-employment would level out at some stage, but it’s not happening yet. 

It’s a structural change in the UK economy and society with significant political standing. A demonstration of this occurred just last week. Our UK ‘sister’ organization IPSE (Independent Professionals and Self-Employed) attended 10 Downing Street as part of PM David Cameron’s preparation for his negotiations in Brussels over the UK-European Union agreement.  More...


Updates: Uber, fair contracts and independent contractors

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ICA is proud of its efforts over the last seven years arguing for the unfair contract laws for small business people. We’ve said that we’re delighted that the Turnbull government is moving forward with the laws. And we’re thankful to the Senate and to Senators for making sure the laws will have a wide application.  More...


‘Employment’ security exists as a legal construct, not as an economic or human reality

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

From time to time, we’ve highlighted the debate occurring in the UK over the rise of the self-employed. Some commentators see this as a bad thing.

In mid-June, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released a report on the future of Australia’s workforce. The full report is here. ICA's Executive Director, Ken Phillips, was asked to contribute a chapter on independent contracting. He cited global trends, presenting facts and some opinions. His CEDA chapter is here. More...


The rise and rise of self-employment

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Australian union movement has this week been debating its future. It’s worried. Its membership in the private sector is plunging below 14 per cent of the workforce (less than 17 per cent overall). It’s frantic that new disruptive technologies such as Uber, job networking, crowd-sourced funding and more will create an explosion in self-employment. It is horrified that people will become their own bosses!  More...


The world of work has moved on while the discrimination and misnomers have not

Monday, April 13, 2015

ICA was contacted by an independent contractor last week, upset that he’d been told he had to become an employee. He consults to a large, international IT company and was three months into a 12-month contract. He refused and has left them.

The point he made was that if an employee is forced to become an independent contractor, the employer would face sham contracting action. Yet when the reverse happens, there’s nothing. It shows the institutional and attitudinal hypocrisy displayed towards self-employed people. It’s a discrimination that we at ICA are dedicated to fighting.  More...


Now it’s some Canadians complaining about self-employment

Monday, February 09, 2015

You’d think the Canadians would be pleased. Canada’s jobless rate has just dropped further to 6.6 per cent after adding 34,500 jobs in the last month. But this is entirely accounted for by the fact that the number of self-employed individuals has gone up by 41,000. However according to this report this is terrible. The article claims that ‘self-employed does not equal making money’. What planet is this author on?  More...



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