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Self-employment

Self-Employment

The Issue

The structure of the UK labour market is changing. Workers looking for flexibility, especially women and older people are increasingly turning to self-employment. More young people are setting themselves up in business and becoming the entrepreneurs of the future.

We want the Government to continue to do more to support the self-employed. This includes easier access to mortgages and pensions and simplifying the tax system.

Our research shows 18 per cent of members say tenancy clauses are a barrier to running a business from home, while one in three says inadequate broadband stops them working from home.

Action FSB have taken

  • Calling on the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to fully review the tax system for the self-employed, micro and small businesses.
  • Calling for rules for Universal Credit to be simplified and made fairer for the self-employed.
  • Lobbying Government to improve access by the self-employed to private pensions, insurance products, maternity pay and occupational health services.
  • Promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship as a realistic career option for young people, by improving links between businesses and schools. We support this through our Chairman’s charity Young Enterprise.

Our Goal

We believe the UK should be the best place in the world to start-up and run a business. Furthermore the 15 per cent of the workforce who are self-employed should have equal access to financial products and be encouraged to save for their retirement. Rewarding the valuable economic role of the self-employed is crucial to supporting economic growth.

Achievements in...


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UK/Westminster

  • The introduction and extension of the New Enterprise Allowance to help jobseekers start up in business and make a claim from day one.
  • The introduction of start-up loans to help new entrepreneurs get their business off the ground.

  • Recent reforms within the social security system to support the self-employed including access to childcare vouchers and the state pension.

  • Measures to support home-based businesses including the prevention of landlords from forbidding private renters from running their business at home.

  • The Government has recently announced an independent review of support for the self-employed by leading entrepreneur Julie Deane OBE. Michelle Mone OBE, is also conducting a review into the barriers facing entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities.

Visit UK/Westminster section