Government Must Address Changing Ways of Working

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed – which represents freelancers, contractors, consultants and independent professionals – has responded to last Wednesday’s (16th November) ONS employment figures, which show the number of self-employed individuals in the UK increased 213,000 to 4.79 million in the three months to October 2016. Lorence Nye, IPSE Economic Adviser, commented: “As more and more people recognise the benefits of becoming your own boss, self-employment is becoming a key driver in the UK economy. “Research has consistently shown the majority of the self-employed work this way out of choice, not necessity. They value the flexibility and work-life balance it brings them above all else. However, there are clearly some ‘gig economy’ workers for whom the system is not working properly, and we look forward to playing a full part in the Prime Minister’s review into employment practices. “We have seen a fundamental change in the structure of the labour market over the past few years. The self-employed now make up more than 15 per cent of all people in work. Now is the time for Government to address this change. These 4.79 million individuals will be looking to the Autumn Statement for new policies that help them run their businesses and prepare for the future.” The IPSE Confidence Index Q3 notes that last quarter’s freelancer business confidence Index plummeted to record low levels predicting a drop in freelance business performance. The results in Q3 indicate that this forecast has been proved accurate. Freelancers’ confidence in the UK economy for Q2 fell by even more than the business confidence index score – with both indices deep into negative values. However, the current results show that business confidence has recovered somewhat, but the index score is still marginally negative for the outlook over the next 12 months, indicating that most freelancers expect business performance to deteriorate. Read more: