Self-employment group IPSE has cautiously welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s views on self-employment. In his speech at the recent Labour conference in Blackpool, the Leader of the Opposition said social security and tax for the self-employed should be reviewed.
“I have said that Labour will put security at work and employment and union rights centre stage from day one,” said Corbyn.
“But one in six workers in Britain are now self-employed. They’re right to value their independence, but for too many it comes with insecurity and a woeful lack of rights.
“So, we will review arrangements for self-employed people, including the social security that self-employed people pay for in their taxes yet aren’t fully covered by.”
IPSE’s Director of Policy Simon McVicker said: “Jeremy Corbyn was right to state that the self-employed value their independence. However, it is important that Labour understands most people who work for themselves freely choose to trade some employment rights for flexibility in the way they work.”
However, unscrupulous businesses that push workers into being self-employed when they should be employed must be tackled, McVicker added. Such workers should be guaranteed rights such as sick pay, holiday pay and the minimum wage.
He also said that all political parties should look at ways of supporting the self-employed when it comes to reviewing tax and social security, singling out maternity pay and pension provision as two areas where improvement should be explored.
“The tax system has yet to catch up with the way more and more people are choosing to work, and needs radical reform to make it fit for the 21st century.” McVicker concluded.