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Protect self-employed workers

Last updated: 07:22pm 15 February 2019

Last October, the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.16

Our verdict

In the UK, a person is self-employed if they run their business for themselves, aren’t paid through PAYE, and don’t have the employment rights and responsibilities of employees.

In October 2016, the government commissioned an independent review of the changing labour market, promising to build on its recommendations in order to protect workers’ rights, including self-employed workers. The report highlighted a number of issues in the British labour market, including low productivity growth, slowdown in real wage growth, increased income insecurity due to more flexible forms of work, regional wage and employment rate imbalance, as well as disparities by gender, ethnicity and age.

In February 2018 the government published it’s response to the review which accepts “a vast majority of the recommendations”, and since then has published its Good work plan which includes consultations on how to implement the recommendations.

So with the government backing many of the recommendations from the review, this policy is ‘in progress’. Before we can consider this as ‘done’ we’ll need to see new laws in place, and confirmation that any new measures do keep the self-employed “properly protected”. Follow this policy for updates.

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