‘The Self Organising Self-Employed’, a report published by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and commissioned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), highlights how the self-employed are coming together to fill the gaps left by Government by pooling their resources in schemes that offer financial support and security.
The emergence of collaborative and supportive initiatives, such as Bread Funds, which enable the self-employed to contribute to a communal fund which can then be accessed to cover late payments or used to provide sick and maternity pay, is a response to the inability of previous Governments to resolve issues facing the self-employed.
The report calls on the Government to do more to support and foster the growth of similar arrangements in the UK. This will give the 4.8 million* UK self-employed the opportunity to invest in their security and future.
Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, says: “The Government needs to do more to actively support the self-employed or it risks endangering the positive growth we are seeing in the UK. Introducing changes, such as breaking down the regulatory barriers to self-organising arrangements, will encourage and foster the start-up of such schemes giving the self-employed the opportunity to invest in their security and future. With continuing political uncertainty, the Government must not now resurrect its failed attempt to clobber the 4.8 million self-employed ‘strivers’ in our country with a two per cent tax hike. This is the last thing the economy needs.”
RSA Associate Director, Benedict Dellot, adds: “Whether it is tech developers sharing workloads, interpreters and translators pooling marketing costs, or freelancers of all kinds clubbing together to create collective sick pay funds, the scope for self-organising to improve the lives of the self-employed is huge. With our political institutions gripped in turmoil, now more than ever workers need to look to themselves for a helping hand’’.
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* Source: Figures from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of self-employed people has risen by 103,000 to 4.8 million, accounting for 15 per cent of all people in work.