Self-employment is allowing more and more people to enter the workforce who might not otherwise be able to – especially the over-65s, the disabled and new parents.
The labour market statistics, released by the ONS, show self-employment has risen by 9,000 compared to the same time last year, putting the total number of self-employed in the UK at 4.81 million. The number of employees also grew significantly.
Tom Purvis, IPSE’s Economic and Policy Advisor, said: “The rise and rise of self-employment shows that this revolution in the labour market is here to stay. Since the financial crash, more and more people have seen the flexibility and control this way of working can offer and taken the leap into self-employment.
“One of the biggest groups to benefit from this revolution is people who might otherwise struggle to enter the workforce: most notably, over-65s, new parents and the disabled. For these people, self-employment is an essential lifeline – a means to a stable, decent income and a place in the UK’s labour market. And the Government is reaping the rewards of this revolution – through higher growth and greater tax revenues."
IR35 - disaster
This increase in self-employed also prompted calls for the Government to promote this manner of working rather than hinder it through changes in tax law, such as are feared to come from the Government's consultation on IR35 in the private sector
Mr Purvis said: “What the Government must do now is avoid measures that would make entering self-employment harder. Not least: extending the changes to IR35 into the private sector. The changes to IR35 tax law have already caused serious problems in the public sector.
"Extending them to the private sector would be nothing short of a disaster – for businesses, the economy and for the many people who rely on self-employment as a route into the labour market.”
For more information about the controversial IR35 tests and rules; and other aspects of IR35, see Shout99's News on IR35 section.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2018