About Time! New Rights For Gig Economy Workers Badly Needed

  • Ed Molyneux, CEO at FreeAgent

  • 08.02.2018 07:00 am
  • undisclosed

Currently, there’s an inequality that exists between employed and self-employed workers.

What makes self-employment so tough is that there is rarely any kind of safety net in place to help protect from the unforeseen. Statutory benefits that workers expect, such as sick pay, maternity pay or pension provision, aren’t there for the self-employed. 

I particularly welcome the government’s plans to change this situation though, especially in enforcing sick pay entitlements for the self-employed. In research we conducted with The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), UK micro-businesses and freelancers said they would be more interested in receiving sick pay than any other statutory benefit.

The reason is obvious, as our research found that eight in ten have worked through an illness at some point while running their own business because they felt they could not afford to take time off. The simple fact is that when you’re self-employed, if you’re too sick to work, you won’t make any money.

With the government increasingly looking at additional taxation methods and potentially increasing NICs for self-employed people, there must be something offered in exchange for increasing the financial burden, such as these type of statutory benefits, on these workers. Otherwise, what is the incentive to start your own business?


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