Campaigners call for urgent reviews following election result

Childcare and self employment campaigners have called for urgent reviews of policy following the general election result.

reviews of policy following the general election result.

 

The election result has been greeted with a round of calls from childcare and self employed campaigners for urgent action.

On childcare, the Early Years Alliance has called for an urgent review of childcare funding. The Conservatives’ manifesto mentions one billion pounds for ‘wraparound’ before and after school care, but nothing on early years provision. It says underfunding of the Government’s ‘free’ childcare offer could lead to rising fees and more nursery closures.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: “Childcare providers may have been hoping for a change of direction for the sector as a result of this election. Sadly, with the Conservatives failing to commit to any further funding for the early years, many will still be concerned about the future and long-term viability of their businesses after last night’s result.

“This government could leave the sector facing an £800 million funding shortfall by the end of this parliament that will further increase parent fees and force more providers to close. We can’t go on like this – we need urgently need funding levels to cover the true cost of delivering childcare and a firm commitment for them to be reviewed annually.”
Meanwhile, freelance and contractor experts have called on the Government to keep to its campaign trail promise to review IR35 legislation for off payroll workers, which is due to be rolled out to the private sector in April.

Dave Chaplin, CEO and founder of contracting authority ContractorCalculator and director of StopThe Off-Payroll Tax campaign, said: “In the run-up to this election we heard a number of political parties pledge to review IR35 and as Boris Johnson re-enters No. 10 I would like to remind him of that promise.  Having a complex employment status test at the heart of the tax system hasn’t worked for 20 years under the intermediaries legislation and hasn’t worked under the new rules in the public sector either.

“The Off-Payroll rules in their current proposed format create an unfairly burdensome scenario which has the potential to poison the entire engagement process between contractor, client and agency.  It will force thousands of contractors into false employment, expose self-employed contractors to excessive taxation as well as depriving UK plc. of essential access to talent and key skills and drive up project costs.  Combined, this will work to further incite tax non-compliance and tax evasion.  I would urge the Prime Minister to now confirm that he will conduct a proper review, put the Off-Payroll roll-out on hold and work with the contracting community and stakeholders on devising how best to recognise contracting and freelancing in the tax system.  An Off-Payroll review should be put right at the top of his agenda as he takes up office again.”

The new Government is expected to outline its plans for the next Parliamentary session next week. In its manifesto there were few concrete plans for working families aside from the wraparound childcare pledge. There was a promise of a week’s unpaid carer’s leave, a gradual rise in the National Minimum Wage and tax cuts.

On employment rights, there were promises to create a single enforcement body and crack down on any employer abusing employment law, to ensure that workers have the right to request a more predictable contract, to encourage flexible working, to consult on making it the default unless employers have good reasons not to allow it, to legislate to allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care and “look at ways to make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave”.



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