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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...


Self-employment update: Innovation, happiness and the ‘gig’ economy

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last week, ICA’s Executive Director, Ken Phillips, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Turnbull which was published in Business Spectator. It was about the PM’s desire for an innovation society. Ken said small business innovation is in trouble because of the Tax Office and other matters. He said that there are two tasks:  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...


Productivity Commission Inquiry could prove valuable

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just last week the debate over workplace issues revved up again with the release by the Abbott government of its Productivity Commission inquiry into workplace relations. Naturally, the unions and the ALP are salivating at the idea that this will be a re-run of WorkChoices, almost guaranteeing them a win at the next election. ICA will be putting a submission to the Inquiry. More...


Exotic dancers and the tyranny of the status quo?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Since 2012 ICA has been tracking the extraordinary debate happening in the UK about the ‘evils’ of self-employment. The debate was first ignited by the UK Trades Union movement. UK self-employment has doubled since 1975 to be now 15 per cent of the workforce (4.5 million people). Incredibly, UK unions say this is socially destructive.

Earlier this year a union-orientated think-tank, the Resolution Foundation, made similar claims.   More...


New EU research: More escaping "wage slavery"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Important new research released in April has found that the number of independent professionals (iPros) in Europe has increased 45 per cent since 2004. Undertaken for the Professional Contractors Group in the UK, the study not only presents data on a country-by-country basis, but also includes profiling results which show that the major determinants for choosing self-employment are a sense of fulfilment and flexibility in working patterns. More...


What makes a good self-employed entrepreneur?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poland is now the sixth largest economy in Europe with a projected growth rate in 2014 some 57 per cent higher than the rest of Europe. Poland’s entrepreneurs are driving this. What makes a good self-employed entrepreneur? Read this discussion paper from some researchers at universities in Turkey and Austria. They are into ‘myth explosion’. More...


Inside the mind of the independent professional

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tui McKeown is at Monash University and on the ICA board. She conducts ground-breaking research into how independent contractors think. Her latest edition of the IPro Index, sponsored by Entity Solutions contains lessons about how businesses can interact with the ‘new worker’. More hereMore...


Australia got caught out by Freelancer.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The launch of Freelancer.com onto the Australian stock market last week created great excitement. Upon listing, its 50 cent shares skyrocketed to $2.60 settling at $1.60. Commentators referred to it as potentially Australia’s Twitter.

The story underpinning the share market hype reflects not just a new age technology but rather a transformation in the way business and work is organised. Freelancer highlights how the transformation is expanding and will continue to overpower human resource practices inside large organisations, labour and tax laws and the very idea of what constitutes a business. Read full blogpost... More...


The challenge of the 'blended' workforce

Monday, August 26, 2013

One of the biggest challenges facing large firms these days is how to manage a ‘blended’ workforce. Few companies are able to operate with employees alone. The use of independent contractors ‘blended’ with employees is a new ‘normal’.  More...



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