Indycube

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Pat Conaty et al. in Working Together:

"Working Together also identifies Indycube as a blueprint for how partnerships between trade union and co-operatives can flourish. Indycube is a rapidly growing network for freelancers and the self-employed and offers access to workspace in more than 30 locations, predominantly across Wales.

The not-for-profit co-operative works with the trade union Community to offer a range of benefits including advice on tax, insurance, pensions and employment law.

Mark Hooper, Founder of Indycube, sums up how the relationship with Community has developed. He said: “We see this as the way to grow with Community’s resources, capacity and knowledge, and the plan provides an opportunity for third party representation of our self-employed members.

“On a practical level, freelancers often find themselves presented with complex contracts full of legal jargon, which can result in problematic agreements and issues with payment.

“Community’s legal team are able to advise on these sorts of documents which many independent workers wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. Likewise, Invoice Factoring is a service which is generally only available to bigger companies and organisations, but banding independent workers’ voices together and working in partnership with Community has allowed Indycube to secure access to Invoice Factoring services, effectively putting an end to late payments for our members.

“Fifty-one per cent of invoices are paid late, a figure we think is far too high, and Community’s support has enabled us to make progress in this area. Thanks to Community’s status as an established union, Indycube has been able to cement itself in the minds of policy-makers and others as a voice for the fast-growing group of independent workers.

“The more members we have, the stronger our collective voice, and the more work we can all do to make our futures better."

Les Bayliss, National Officer and Head of Special Projects for Community, said: “Our partnership with Indycube is one of a number of newly developed initiatives where, as a trade union, we are reaching out to new workers in today’s world of work.

“We will continue to listen to and understand what they need from a trade union, providing support, representation, mediation and settlement. Working together we hope to develop a ‘one voice’ approach to the needs of self-employed, freelance workers, speaking out and campaigning on the issues that affect them most.

“As a trade union we will continue to learn from our new initiatives and our new members, building new alliances with others in the private, co-operative and not for profit sectors. We will reach out to workers by being relevant to them and their needs.” (https://www.uk.coop/sites/default/files/uploads/attachments/working-together_final_web-version.pdf)