Are you as mystified as I am by some of the terms you come across in the media? Fair enough if they’re referring to obscure industries, whose members bark jargon-speak at each other (like the old joke about the comedians who just say a number and everyone laughs), but I’m talking about freelance forums and websites aimed at us freelancers, where I ought to be fluent.
Just in case you’re as in the dark as I am, and to save you searching around the net for explanations, here’s a handy little glossary:
I-pro: Independent professional, ie, another word for freelancer, but more specifically, a self-employed person without employees whose work is (to quote from the European I-Pros: A Study) “of an intellectual nature and/or which comes under service sectors”.
Umbrella company: a company set up to look after freelance contractors’ accountancy, tax and payroll issues. You fill in a timesheet and forward it to the umbrella company and they issue an invoice to the client.
Telecommuter: someone who works from home and uses the telephone to communicate. Though, these days, presumably it should be reworked to be an e-commuter.
IR35: a hot topic if you’re a freelancer these days (but a bit of misty area if you haven’t been affected by it…), it’s legislation set up by HMRC to prevent freelancers who use umbrella companies (see above) or other intermediary services from avoiding paying the correct tax and National Insurance.
If there’s anything you think should be added to the list, please do!
By Liz Granirer