Here in the UK, we’re surrounded by selfies! And not just teenagers with sticks adjusting their reflected photos with emojis and filtered dog ears. Since the turn of the century, the number of self-employed workers in the UK has risen to record levels, and it’s an increase which shows no signs of slowing.
Self-Employment StatisticsIn 2001, the country’s self-employment rate stood at 3.3 million. Last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the figure had reached 4.8 million, accounting for more than 15% of the UK’s total workforce.
The Benefits of Self-Employment
- According to the CIPD, those who work for themselves are generally much happier in their jobs than company employees. Furthermore, fewer self-employed workers ‘feel under excessive pressure at work’, with more ‘achieving the right balance between their work and home life’.
- And it’s not just individuals who seem to be benefitting from self-employment. In the three months to May 2018, the national unemployment rate fell to just over 4%. This is the joint lowest in over 40 years! According to the ONS, the rise in self-employment has significantly helped boost job growth since the 2008 recession.
- Now that a significant portion of the UK labour market is made up of people who work for themselves, policymakers and researchers are also making decisions which are tailored more towards this section of the workforce.
What is a Self-Employed Person?Okay, this might seem fairly self-explanatory, but self-employment can take many forms. This includes freelancers, entrepreneurs, contractors, gig economy workers and sole traders. It does not include, however, zero-hours workers, who tend to have the same employment rights as that of regular employees. So there’s no confusion, a person can be classified as self-employed if they:
- Own a business, as opposed to working for an employer.
- Agree fixed prices for their work with customers or end clients.
- Decide upon their own schedule, as and when work becomes available.
- Work for more than one client simultaneously.
- Provide from their own pocket, the tools, materials or equipment that may be needed to complete a contract.
Thinking of Starting Your Own Business?However you consider self-employment, it looks set to remain a pronounced feature of the UK labour market for many years to come. To see Danbro’s TEN TOP TIPS on starting your own business, click here.
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Sam Wright is Danbro’s Marketing Manager. He produces regular content and feature articles on our digital and non-digital channels – and social platforms – for the Danbro Group and its subsidiaries, as well as having responsibility for the Company’s internal and external communications.
His background is in Journalism and Creative Writing, having previously contributed to publications such as The Daily Post, The Lancashire Evening Post, and The Blackpool Gazette.
He is a keen swimmer and avid Manchester United fan (but don’t hold that against him), and he lives in Lancashire with his wife, Sarah.