The FSB has hailed another rise in the levels of self employment. Government employment figures released this week showed the number of self-employed people has increased by 213,000 since the same time last year, now totalling 15.1 per cent of all those in work.
The figures also show there are 23.24 million people working full-time, an increase of 350,000 from this time last year. There are 8.56 million people working part-time, an increase of 110,000. This correlates with the latest FSB Small Business Index, which showed small businesses have started to take on new staff, with a net balance of 7 per cent increasing their headcount.
‘Government must support small firms’
“More people in work is testament to the hard work of small businesses,” said FSB executive chairman Mike Cherry. “The fall in the unemployment rate is especially welcome. Those moving from unemployment into work are much more likely to become self-employed or work for a small business than a large business.
“If progress is to continue, the Government must use the Autumn Statement to support small firms and the self-employed. That means prioritising much-needed infrastructure investment, including access to superfast broadband, and making clear there will be no increase in the small business tax burden. Small businesses need Government to reaffirm the commitment to permanently increase business rate relief.
“As an organisation set up to represent both small business but also the self-employed, we are acutely aware the UK has so far failed to keep pace with the rapid rise of self-employment. These figures are another signal that more needs to be done to support the self-employed, including on developing a clear legal definition of self-employment and on issues like access to mortgages and income protection, and addressing the discrepancies between the self-employed and employees in the social security system, such as on maternity pay. FSB is pleased with the announcement of the Taylor Review and we are looking forward to inputting into this.”