In his speech to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, party leader Jeremy Corbyn committed to addressing the long-standing disparity between how the tax and welfare system treats the self-employed compared to the employed – a move which has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Gordon Millward, regional chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “As the UK’s leading organisation for the self-employed, FSB is delighted the Labour Party has recognised current unfairness around the way the self-employed are treated, and that Jeremy Corbyn has invited us to take part in their review.
“Our research shows that the ranks of the self-employed in our country are rapidly increasing, and are from diverse backgrounds with more women, young and older people and BAME entrepreneurs setting themselves up in business. All parties need to find ways to support this vital and growing sector of the workforce to help them make an even greater contribution to the UK economy.
“We have developed a clear set of policy recommendations to boost the self-employed, which we will be selling in to this review and to the government’s Autumn Statement. These include moves on access to finance, bringing parity on maternity support, which lags behind employees and reducing complexities within Universal Credit so that, for the first time, it addresses the needs of the self-employed.
“Crucially, we also want government and the insurance industry to work with us on a collective insurance model for enhanced benefits, an idea that is now really gaining traction amongst policymakers”.