Tax & admin · 18 October 2016

Self-employed see 20-year low in earnings

deliveroo
Figures show that the number of self-employed workers in the UK has risen by 47 per cent since 2000
Typical earnings for Britain’s self-employed workers are lower than 20 years ago, according to a new report published by the Resolution Foundation.

The group’s analysis for 2014-15 showed a 15 per cent drop on figures produced in 1994-95 for average self-employed wages.

Data also revealed that between the peak of wages in 2006-7 until 2013-14, earnings fell by 32 percent 100 per week less for each self-employed worker.

The findings of the study point to the rise of the so-called gig economy? in the UK, as increasing numbers of workers take advantage of the flexible contract offerings and on-demand work from companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, broadening the scope of the self-employed bracket.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) state that the number of people classified as self-employed has risen by 47 per cent since 2000, compared to just a 13 per cent increase of those in regular employment.

Commenting on the research, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, Adam Corlett, acknowledged the changing face of the UK’s economy, but warned of the potential insecurity of flexible-working.

“The growth of low-pay and short hours mean that it’s no surprise some workers in the gig economy? feel that self-employment is just a positive spin on precarious work, Corlett said in a statement.

The report suggests that such workers share the same workplace characteristics as those in regular employment, yet don’t receive the benefits of annual leave, sick pay or the National Living Wage (NLW).

In September, prime minister Theresa May opened a government review into employment rights in Britain’s new economy, with a key focus to address workplace security.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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