The UK has seen the fastest growth in self-employment in Western Europe over the past year, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
The number of self-employed workers rose by 8%, faster than any other Western European economy, and outpaced by only a handful of countries in Southern and Eastern Europe.
The IPPR’s analysis shows that the UK – which had low levels of self-employment for many years – has caught up with the EU average. If current growth continues, it says, the UK will look more like Southern and Eastern European countries which tend to have much larger shares of self-employed workers.
According to Tax Research UK…
Something like 80% of all the new jobs created since 2010 are, in fact, self-employments, and there are a number of things that very significantly differentiate self-employments from jobs.
The first is security: there is none.
The second is durability: vast numbers of new small businesses fail, which is one reason why I doubt the official statistics. I am sure they record the supposed start-ups correctly but seriously doubt if they have properly counted the failures.
Then there is the issue of pay. The evidence is overwhelming that in recent years earnings from self-employment have, on average, declined significantly.
A worker’s employment status, that is whether they are employed or self-employed, is not a matter of choice. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends upon the terms and conditions of the relevant engagement.
Many workers want to be self-employed because they will pay less tax, this calculator gives you a quick comparison between being employed, self employed or taking dividends in a limited company.
HMRC have a an employment status tool to help you determine whether a worker can be self-employed or should be an employee http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/esi.htm
In summary, why is it attractive to use Self Employed Freelancers?
- Skill is more important than location in many business sectors – we live in world where internet can allow you to work with anyone at anytime, you can now track down the best person to work with even if they live thousands of miles away
- Lower fixed costs – Using Freelancers will lower your fixed costs (in similar way to Zero Hours Contracts), you employ them for a specific project and only pay for what you need so there isn’t any surplus capacity
- Tax advantages – Freelancers run their own business and that means they pay less tax than employees. Employers save tax too, such as Employers NI.
- Competitive Advantage – You can put together a team for a contract rather than finding contracts that fit your workforce, this means you can hire the best.
- 110% Commitment – A Freelancers success and future work depends on them performing to the highest level on every contract, failure is not an option for a successful contractor.
So do you think self employment is good for the UK?