Launch of self-employed inquiry

Today, with Prospect Union, we are launching an inquiry into the self-employed. The inquiry aims to investigate how the self-employed have been hit by the pandemic and set out what policymakers must do to support them in short and medium term.

On the launch of the inquiry, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:

“The self-employed workforce contributes huge amounts to our country both to our economy and in our communities. Despite this, as it stands government policies, practices and support put self-employed people at a disadvantage.”

“The plight that has faced thousands of self-employed people throughout this pandemic is unacceptable and highlights the fragility of the situation for so many of the UK’s self-employed.”

“Our self-employed community has grown significantly over recent years and – as a result of the impact of the pandemic on our economy – we will likely see more people seek out new ways of working. As this shift continues to build, it is time to get this right, to ensure self-employed people are on a level playing field with employees and that no one is left behind.”

Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary, said:

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought tens of thousands of self-employed workers in the UK to the brink. Jobs and livelihoods at risk, and whole sectors such as the creative industries, are facing an uncertain future as their workforce have been left with little or no support from the government.

“The government needs to react fast to halt the stampede away from self-employment and give people confidence that if they opt to be self-employed, they will be supported when times get tough.

“I hope that the team of experts we have assembled can arrive at solutions to these issues and persuade the government to sit up and take notice of the plight of the self-employed in Britain.

The inquiry’s commissioners come from across the political, academic and industry divide, including:

  • Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community Union
  • Mike Clancy, General Secretary, Prospect
  • Sophie Wingfield, Director of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
  • Tony Wilson, Director, Institute of Employment Studies
  • Rakesh Patel, Director of Client Relations and Talent, previously lead for employment rights and an employment litigator
  • Abena Oppong-Asare MP, MP for Erith and Thamesmead since 2019 and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Anneliese Dodds
  • Hon Anne Milton, MP for Guildford (Conservative 2005-2019, then independent 2019) and former Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at the Department for Education

You can complete the survey here.

You can find the terms of reference for the inquiry here.

Learn more about the benefits of being a self-employed member of Community here.

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