Self-employment remains stable, but IPSE warns of pressures

(2 minutes to read)

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Latest findings have revealed that although self-employment has slightly fallen, the sector still remains broadly stable.

With labour statistics showing that the total number of self-employed workers in the UK has seen a slight decrease – by 38,000 to 4.77 million – the headline figure of 4.8 million remains steady.

However, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) is warning of downward pressure and threats facing the sector.

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, explained, “Self-employment continues to be a popular option for people who want to take control of their working lives. But there are concerns.

“IPSE’s members report rising business costs and downward pressure on earnings. There is a lack of confidence in the UK economy, largely linked to certainty over Brexit, and a view that government policies, such as IR35, are mainly hostile to the sector.

“These factors may have contributed to the small drop in self-employment, but will also be linked to poor weather and poor economic performance in the UK as a whole during the second quarter of 2018.

“At a time when there is concern about the economy, the government should be supporting the UK’s 4.8 million self-employed. It can do this by reversing its proposal to change the IR35 rules, which will make it harder for businesses to access the flexible, self-employed talent they need to survive in an uncertain economy.”

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