UK Umbrella Company Employees are being invited to join forces with other freelancers across the EU and use the May Day holiday to promote European-wide recognition of the continent’s nine million-strong professional contracting community.

Although May Day is widely considered a day of rest and commemoration for workers across Europe, the recently-formed European Freelancers’ Movement is urging self-employed professionals throughout the continent to use it as a day of action instead. The aim is to show how committed the growing European professional contracting community really is to completing client projects by refusing to abstain from work on a day employers are conventionally but not legally obliged to honour for flexible staff.

The European Freelancers’ Movement is inviting independent professionals to sign a five-clause manifesto calling for better access to services, fair treatment by governments and businesses, and better recognition. Its coordinator, Joel Dullroy, said: “May Day is no holiday for freelancers, but it is a chance for them to make their voice heard by joining our movement. There are more than nine million freelancers across Europe today, and we’re no longer an ignorable minority. We have specific needs and concerns, and governments will have to start taking us seriously.”

The manifesto, which will be presented to the European parliament after the upcoming election, asks EU authorities to improve official statistics to provide more reliable data about freelancers, recognise freelancers as a legitimate business category, and give them fair access to government services and funding.

Businesses are asked to treat freelancers fairly, with proper contracts and good conditions, and governments are asked to consult freelancers’ organisations when drafting policy.

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