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Government to review support for self-employed

The founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company Julie Deane OBE is to carry out an independent review of self-employment in the UK, with the aim of discovering the challenges and opportunities facing those who wish to work for themselves.

Accounting for a quarter of the UK’s growth in employment since 2010, self-employment is a major contributor to the economy – something that the review will highlight while also examining what more can be done to support those who choose this way of working.

According to ONS figures one person in seven is self-employed, a total of 4.5 million individuals.

In conducting the review, Ms Deane has three primary aims. First, she will seek to discover the reasons why people opt to be self-employed and the different types of work that they engage in, ranging from freelancing professionals, to sole traders, to those who are employed but also work for themselves.

Second, the review will probe the problems self-employed people come up against, especially when establishing or developing their businesses.

Finally, it will recommend how the UK can create a more flexible and supportive environment for such people as well as what measures can be taken to offer them more security and peace of mind.

APHC chief executive John Thompson said: “We feel this government review is very significant to plumbing and heating given the high number of self-employed people in the industry; the unique challenges faced by those who choose to work for themselves are ones we see our members coming up against every day.

“We therefore intend to participate fully in order to put forward relevant key messages on behalf of our members. With self-employed people making such a huge contribution to the economy, the decision to review the support available to them is not simply a moral gesture – it makes good economic sense.”

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The government is on the side of working people. As part of our aim to achieve full employment, we want to create an environment that supports people who want to work hard and strike out on their own and makes the UK the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.”

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