Twice as many self-employed mothers than in 2008

The number of freelancing mothers has leapt by 50% since 2008, elevating the current total to 594,000, a new report reveals.

The leap means that one in seven of all self-employed people are now mothers, with the heaviest concentration being “highly skilled freelancers,” wrote report authors IPSE and Kingston University.

This contingent is in three groups -- associate professional and technical occupations (137,000); those in professional occupations (125,000) and, the third largest, those in leisure/care sector or other occupations (123,000).

Their rapid rise has helped to drive a “significant growth in the overall number of female freelancers,” the report says, citing a 67% jump in such workers since 2008, boosting their total to around 888,000.

 “As a result, 43 per cent of all freelancers (the highly-skilled, professional self-employed) are female,” adds the report ‘Exploring the rise of self-employment in the modern economy.’

“[And] the growth in the number of female freelancers has also fuelled a significant rise in the overall number of freelancers in the UK, up 46 per cent since 2008.”

Corinne Stuart, IPSE’s head of commercial development, said the findings showed that self-employment had proved increasingly “useful” to women who want to work and spend time with their children.

“For many, it is also [a] vital means of moving back into the workforce,” she said.

“As more and more mothers and other women opt for the freedom and flexibility of working for themselves, it is important for the government to recognise how liberating and beneficial self-employment can be, and ensure it remains a viable career path for all.”

Speaking ahead of today’s Spring Statement 2018, IPSE added: “[The government] should make a particular effort to ensure self-employed mothers have all the assistance and support they need, such as by making them – like employees – eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay.”


13th March 2018

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