Alert over slowing self-employment growth

A freelance trade body yesterday responded with concern to fresh labour figures showing that self-employment growth in the UK may be beginning to slow down.

Released by the Office of National Statistics, the figures show that there are now 32.2million people in work – 415,000 more than this time last year, points out the body -- IPSE.

But the growth in employment has come from employees rather than people becoming self-employed, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) added.

In line with the association’s reading, the ONS said the number of self-employed for September to November 2017 was “little changed,” standing at about 4.77million.

“The slowdown in the growth of self-employment should ring alarm bells for the government,” reflected IPSE’s political and economic adviser Tom Purvis.

“There are many challenges facing the self-employed at the moment, not least because of the problems with Universal Credit.This flawed system is leaving self-employed people up to £3,000 a year worse off than employees earning the same money.”

But Purvis cautioned that the Universal Credit system is “just one of the areas” where conditions for people who work for themselves should be being prioritised by the government for improvement.

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