BiS Self Employment Review by Julie Deane (Cambridge Satchel Company)

Posted: 7th March 2016

JDSee the whole report HERE

The report is written in a straightforward way so as to be practical and completely unambiguous. I would welcome feedback from the self-employed sector, with whom I feel a particular affinity. In this report I have tried to accurately portray the views and concerns that have been expressed to me. I hope I have done this in a way that does justice to the level of input I have received and that my recommendations make a real difference, as that has been my motivation in overseeing this project.

I would like to draw particular attention to the following themes which run consistently through my findings:

Importance / Significance – The number of self-employed in the UK currentlystands at 4.6m, an all-time high. Furthermore this number is growing and the trendseems set to continue. This group now represents 15% of the UK workforce makinga considerable and positive contribution to the country’s economy. Much of thegrowth seen over the last few years has been driven by this sector.

Motivation – The majority of the self-employed have made a positive choice to beso and have no plans to return to employment. They have found a good balancewith work/life commitments and are often happier.

Diversity – The self-employed are not one homogenous group however therecommendations made as a result of this review aim to benefit all members of thisgroup.

Evolution – Technology has had a tremendous impact, particularly over the last tenyears. The many factors within the self-employed landscape have changed,including age profile and, the methods and even the location of where they work.

Equality and Fairness – choosing to be self-employed should not mean that peopleare disadvantaged in the support that they receive from Government. It is importantthat with the increased growth in self-employment, and the subsequent benefits thatthis group brings to the economy, that there are systems in place to support theself-employed in the same way as the employed. Government should considerextending support to the self-employed in areas where there is discrepancybetween support for the self-employed and support for employees.