Government urged to adapt policies to self-employment boom

5 Jan 15
Government policies need to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of an increasingly self-employed workforce, the Institute for Public Policy Research has argued.

The think-tank found that 40% of the rise in UK employment since 2010 has been in self-employment and there were now over 4 million self-employed workers.

It predicts that this was unlikely to be a temporary phenomenon and is rather the beginning of a permanent shift in the way British workers are employed.

‘The UK’s self-employment-led recovery looks like it is the start of the “new normal” for the British economy, with more people working not as employees but as self-employed sole traders,’ said IPPR researcher Izzy Hatfield.

‘This could have big implications for how these workers save for their pensions, access training to boost their productivity and ensure that their earnings keep pace with inflation.’

The report calls on the government to help self-employed workers access training and develop their skills. It notes that, in the UK, a bigger proportion of self-employed workers tend to have low-level qualification than employees.

Across Europe, self-employed earnings are falling, relative to employee earnings, but the IPPR argues that self-employment could provide a route into work for disadvantaged groups such as unemployed people, mothers and migrants.

The IPPR’s report is the second in a series support by the global JP Morgan Case's New skills at work initiative.


CIPFA logo

PF Jobsite logo

Did you enjoy this article?