Self-employment rise ‘could be scuppered by state policies’

A rise in the number of people freelancing and working for themselves at the tail-end of last year could be undone if the government’s own policies continue unchanged, warns IPSE.

Issuing this alert yesterday, the UK’s freelance trade body said that 81,000 newcomers to self-employment, part of the 4.8m people who now work for themselves, needed supporting.

Although they are ‘resilient’-- the newcomers went solo into business between September and November amid Brexit uncertainty, IPSE said the government “must take heed.”  

“The flexibility offered by self-employment,” began Andy Chamberlain of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

“And the freedom of working without a boss, are the main reasons why they [the self-employed] wouldn’t choose to go back”, he said, pointing to nine-to-five employment.

But ironically, flexibility (or the lack of) is among the main charges against a key government policy, and being wrongly deemed an employee is among the main risks for the self-employed of another.

“Policies such as Universal Credit and IR35 [reform] risk forcing them out of business against their will,” Mr Chamberlain warned.

“The government must listen to the what the self-employed are telling them. They have actively chosen this way of working and they do not want to return to traditional employment.”


23rd January 2019

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