A major new campaign to boost the working life of the UK’s army of self-employed people has been launched across the country.
The campaign, by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), aims to promote the challenges and opportunities facing the 4.8 million self-employed one-person-bands who are running their own business.
And FSB has published a new Think Self-Employed agenda detailing policies it says will halt the collapse in self-employed confidence across the UK.
Two weeks of statutory paternity pay and an Adoption Allowance for the self-employed; amends to the Parental Bereavement Bill to ensure sole traders are included in the potential legislation
Reform of Universal Credit (UC) to protect sole traders from losing out due to fluctuating incomes; extension of the UC ‘start-up period’ to ensure claimants have at least two years to get firms off the ground
A Brexit deal that works for sole traders: one which allows them to cross European borders without administrative burdens and additional costs
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: "The UK’s self-employed community contributes more than £270 billion to the economy annually yet they’re still treated as an afterthought by policy makers. We’ll be campaigning over the coming months to change that status quo."
Other recommendations include:
Using the self-assessment process to nudge the self-employed towards saving more for the future; only 17% of self-employed people have a private pension, compared to 78% of employees
Ensuring that lessons are learned from the impact of changes to IR35 legislation in the public sector before rolling them out to the private sector
Closer working between government and financial services firms to help the self-employed overcome barriers faced when applying for mortgages, loans and insurance products
Introducing tax relief on training courses for the self-employed that provide them with new skills to ensure they can compete in a rapidly changing economy
Providing Local Enterprise Partnerships with comprehensive information on the number of self-employed people in their area so they can target small business support effectively
The campaign is being focused around a #thinkselfemployed hashtag on social media with businesses being urged to show their backing by tweeting a simple message of support.
You can download the FSB’s campaign agenda here