The self-employed must be understood to be supported

Better pension provision, maternity allowance and research into the self-employed were called for by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, in its response to the parliamentary Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee inquiry into ‘the future world of work and the rights of workers’.

IPSE believes there needs to be a level playing field for the self-employed on maternity allowance and pension provision, as well as an increased focus on enterprise education in schools, colleges and universities. These policies would serve to support the vulnerable while also increasing the business skills of those newly entering self-employment.

Research into the segmentation of the self-employed is also strongly supported by IPSE, as this group of the labour force has become vast and varied.

Simon McVicker, IPSE Director of Policy and External Affairs, said: “The number of self-employed in the UK has grown so rapidly in the last few years that it now represents 15% of the entire workforce. But employment law, and the tax system, has not yet caught up.

“It is important that the self-employed are clearly segmented, which is why we highlight detailed research as a first step towards clarification. Only when we truly understand who the self-employed are, can we properly determine what support they need.

“We cannot forget that the more highly skilled self-employed professionals have grown in number more rapidly than the lower skilled since 2011. The two ends of the spectrum will not want, or expect, the same rights. We should support those that are vulnerable, and maternity pay and pension provision are two clear areas for this, but we should also make it clear that unscrupulous businesses cannot be allowed to push people into self-employment. It undermines their rights and gives genuine self-employment a bad name.

“IPSE will work closely with BEIS to provide support and information wherever needed once this inquiry is published.”

 

Policy, Employment, Education

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