By Jonathan London on 21st September 2015

IPSE calls for action to arrest decline in UK self-employment

The government has been called upon to take action to address the decline in the number of UK self-employed workers that has been observed over the last few months.

New data from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of self-employed Britons fell by 51,000 in the three months to July 2015, when compared to the same period in 2014. This marks the sixth consecutive month of decline.

Currently, it is estimated that there are around 4.5 million self-employed workers in the UK, and the Association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed (IPSE) has urged the government to provide more support for freelancers and contractors in order to bolster the health of the overall economy.

IPSE chief executive Chris Bryce expressed concern that recent announcements from chancellor George Osborne’s latest Budget are likely to have a significant negative impact on self-employed people, thus endangering its ambition of turning the UK into Europe’s leading knowledge economy.

Mr Bryce: “Proposed changes to travel and subsistence allowances, and additional tax liabilities for people who operate through limited companies mean that large numbers of self-employed will feel squeezed. To reach the goal of full employment we need a robust self-employed community and these measures will not help achieve this.”

This comes after the government launched an independent review of self-employment in the UK, which aims to explore why people opt to be self-employed, as well as the different types of work that they carry out.

It will examine the challenges and issues faced by people who are self-employed, especially when setting up or developing their businesses, and will produce recommendations on how the UK can create a more flexible and supportive environment for these workers.

The findings of the review are expected to be published early next year.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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