Government to examine support for the self-employed

Leading entrepreneur Julie Deane OBE, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, is to carry out an independent review of self-employment in the UK. The review, launched today, will report to the government on the challenges and opportunities for those who want to work for themselves.

The UK labour market is one of the most diverse in the world with self-employment accounting for over a quarter of the growth in employment since 2010. According to ONS figures, 1 in 7 people in employment choose to work for themselves, making a total of 4.5 million people. The review will highlight the contribution they make to the UK economy and consider how they can be better supported, for example women building businesses alongside childcare commitments.

The review, expected to be published in early 2016,  will:

  • explore why people opt to be self-employed as well as the different types of work that they carry out, including freelancing professionals, sole traders and those who are employed but also work for themselves
  • look into the challenges and issues faced by people who are self-employed, especially when setting up or developing their business
  • recommend how the UK can create a more flexible and supportive environment

It will also look at what can be done to provide more security and peace of mind, for example, when juggling self-employment and having a family, buying a home or saving for retirement.

Ben Dunn, Managing Director of JSA, one of the UK’s leading providers of services to the flexible workforce, said: “The flexible workforce is driving the growth in the UK economy and the size of that workforce is growing. As working practices change, so too must the infrastructure that supports it. The Government needs to ensure that the legislative environment supports the people who choose to work for themselves, not hinders it. We look forward to hearing Julie Deane’s recommendations.”

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