Number of female contractors on the rise

(3 minutes to read)

A recent report has revealed that the number of self-employed women has grown significantly over the last 11 years.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) welcome this latest data, but warns that the government need to recognise the importance of this sector to women and many others, and therefore do more to protect it.

Ryan Barnett, IPSE’s Economic Policy Adviser, commented, “Today’s data shows just how important it is for women across the UK to have the choice to go into self-employment. More of them than ever before are taking advantage of the freedom and flexibility of self-employment.

“As IPSE’s own research has shown, the number of women in self-employment has increased by 63 per cent since 2008 – and clearly that strong growth is continuing.

“The jobs recovery since the financial crisis has been driven by the huge number of people turning to self-employment – particularly mothers. IPSE research shows that one in eight of all self-employed people are now mothers.

“As more and more people – and especially women – turn to self-employment, it is vital that the government recognises the importance of this sector and gives it the protection and support it needs. Above all, like other businesses, the self-employed need certainty from the government on Brexit – and a deal that works for them.”

Corinne Stuart, IPSE’s Head of Commercial Development, added, Freelancing is vital for many mothers and carers too, because it gives them the ability to both earn an income and spend time with their children and family. For some, it can also be a means of moving back into the workforce.

“As more and more women move into self-employment, the government must recognise how important this way of working is. It should make a particular effort to ensure self-employed mothers have all the assistance and support they need, for example, by making them eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay – like employees.

“In these uncertain times, the government must do all it can to protect this sector and make sure women have access to the freedom and flexibility of self-employment. Freelancing is, after all, a feminist issue.”

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