Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Why is it always about employing people?

Whenever we get stories on the news about the recession, there is always stress on the need for companies to create jobs so more people can be employed. I can see why this is important - but what I don't understand is why they don't also mention the benefits of people employing themselves.

I left British Airways in 1994 to set up my own creativity training company and later to get into writing. Since then I haven't been a drain on the state,  and I have been paying taxes and all those good things. But I don't employ anyone (except myself). I do work with several others, but we all have our own companies. They are resources I can call on if I need several trainers for an event (say), but I don't have all the hassle of employing people.

Now I'm not getting into hyper-Tebbit mode and saying everyone should get on their bikes and work for themselves. It doesn't suit everyone - that's fine. But I do think we could do with a bit more recognition, when the media and the government are droning on about how important it is for companies to take on more workers.

This message has been brought to you by the Federation of Small Businesses. (No, it hasn't, in case they complain. But you know what I mean.)


  1. Absolutely spot on. In my 'mini Tebbitt' moment, it does rather inflame me when, as soon as some threat of Darwinian cuts comes into the public sector, they all get their placards out and strike.

  2. Having been an employee for 22 years and then an employer (of up to 100 staff) for a further 10, I've decided never, ever, to be an employer again.

    My business is now a true SME with one employee (me) and if anyone wants to come and work with me, or even for me, they can sort out their own tax, NI and pension and have whatever time off and holidays they want knowing that if they don't perform there will be another earnest, willing and probably keener, worker ready to take their place.

    Plus, big benefit for me, the knowledge that I won't be taken to an industrial tribunal for some casual remark made to a member of staff in a stressful moment. And I don't have to be nice to anyone simply because I'm their employer...

    I've had enough of the bureaucracy, petty rules and form filling plus general state interference and union busybodies with personal and political agendas who act as a leach on their employers

    And neither will I ever bid for any work in the public sector again....that's even worse than being an employer.!!

  3. My view entirely, Ian, as far as not employing people goes, though I am currently doing some sort-of public sector work that is very enjoyable.

  4. I recently discovered a wonderful TED talk about raising our children to be entrepreneurs -- a really beautiful and inspiring speech about making the world a better place through better business practice. Hope you enjoy!