IPSE-U.S., a not-for-profit association in Detroit dedicated to supporting independent workers, today announced the creation of the Declaration of Independents, a statement promoting the freedom and protection of America’s 68 million independent workers, freelancers, consultants, and the self-employed.
The organization provides independent workers a collective voice as it relates to government policy, taxes, regulations, and other matters.
“We have spent the last 75 years building our social institutions and benefit structures around the premise that everyone works in a traditional W-2 ‘job,’ leaving independent workers without the protections most full-time employees take for granted,” says Carl Camden, founder and president of IPSE-U.S.
“Without a unified political voice, they face complicated tax schemes and lack access to workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, employer-sponsored health care, disability and retirement plans to protect their families and their finances. We will represent independent workers to advocate for policy reform that reflects the modern world of work.”
The organization encourages independent workers to sign the Declaration of Independents and become a unified voice of an underrepresented community when it comes to labor policies, health care, and benefit regulations.
IPSE-U.S. focuses on the following independent worker initiatives:
- Create a focus on independent workers in the federal government. Current labor policies were designed around traditional employment. To balance this equation, IPSE-U.S. proposes an undersecretary of independent work at the Department of Labor. The position would focus solely on understanding and representing the unique interests of the self-employed.
- Provide fair and equitable tax treatment. Independent workers who have made self-employment a full-time career choice face ongoing attempts and “tests” to re-classify them as W-2 employees. Though the U.S. tax code is complex, the self-employed face additional intricacies and burdens — and accountants can’t yet assure them whether the new tax act is a boon or bust for their solo businesses.
- Remove barriers to fair and equitable benefit structures. Both the employer-based model and the individual mandate for health insurance need additional work. IPSE-U.S. believes the free market can create faster and better solutions to affordable, portable health care and benefits for independent workers.
In addition to its advocacy efforts, IPSE-U.S. is engaged with partners like Prudential, iWorker Innovations, and Troy-based Kelly Services that understand how independents work and will offer products and services tailored to their unique needs.
“Current research tells us that the independent workforce is three times the size of the traditional temporary workforce, and becoming increasingly more important to companies seeking skilled talent to execute their business goals,” says John Healy, vice president and managing director, global talent supply chain at Kelly Services. “Kelly believes that by providing employees meaningful opportunities to learn, grow and acquire new skills and experiences, they gain control and balance while pursuing their passions.”
IPSE-U.S. is modeled after the original IPSE founded in the United Kingdom 19 years ago to advocate for independent professionals and the self-employed, IPSE-U.S. is adopting proven best practices and adapting its model to the unique challenges presented by American labor policies and health care/benefit regulations.