Slight slip in self-employment ‘not cause for concern’

A slight fall in the self-employed population is not a cause for concern as the headline figure remains stable, a UK freelancing body says.

In fact, despite “pressures and threats” which may have contributed to self-employment slipping by 38,000 between April and June, the 4.8m total is still “broadly” steady, says IPSE.

But this “continued strength of the self-employed sector” is not without its potential detractors, suggested IPSE deputy director of policy Andy Chamberlain.

“There are concerns…[like] rising business costs and downward pressure on earnings,” he warned.

“There is [also] a lack of confidence in the UK economy, largely linked to [un]certainty over Brexit, and a view that government policies, such as IR35, are mainly hostile to the sector.”

Beyond just potentially downgrading the stock of the self-employed, these negative factors “will” be linked to “poor economic performance in the UK as a whole during the second quarter of 2018.”

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), added: “[Given the] concern about the economy, the government should be supporting the UK’s 4.8million self-employed.

“It can do this by reversing its proposal to change the IR35 rules, which will make it harder for businesses to access the flexible, self-employed talent they need to survive in an uncertain economy.”

 

14th August 2018

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