Quick read: What the 2024 election manifestos mean for the self-employed

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As political parties publish their manifestos for the 2024 general election, we’ve summarised the announcements from the main parties that are most relevant to the self-employed.

We'll be updating this blog throughout the campaign.

Liberal Democrats

Personal taxes

Raising the tax-free personal allowance – the amount is not specified. There are no commitments to reduce headline rates of tax.

Company taxes

Whilst there are no specific pledges on the rate of Corporation tax, the Lib Dems would “make the case for increasing the global minimum rate of corporation tax to 21%”.

End the Loan Charge and review IR35 reforms

They’ve promised to “end retrospective tax changes such as the loan charge” and to review the off-payroll working reforms to IR35 “to ensure self-employed people are treated fairly.”

Mandate the Prompt Payment Code for big business

They would require all government agencies and contractors, as well as companies with more than 250 employees to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code. The code requires signatories to pay 95% of invoices from small businesses (less than 50 employees) within 30 days, and is currently a voluntary scheme.

Employment status

  • Establish a new ‘dependent contractor’ status with basic rights to minimum earnings, sick pay and holiday
  • Review the tax and National Insurance status of all statuses to ensure fairness
  • A 20% higher minimum wage for zero hours workers during times of normal demand
  • Review pensions for gig workers and protect portability between roles
  • Shifting the burden of proof in employment tribunals to the employer

£5,000 to spend on training and skills

A new ‘Lifelong Skills Grant’ giving all adults £5,000 to spend on education and training during their lifetime.

Parental pay and leave

Making all parental pay and leave day-one employment rights and extending them to the self-employed.

Conservative Party

Personal taxes

  • Abolishing Class 4 National Insurance for the self-employed over the course of the next Parliament. According to the manifesto, this would not effect their state pension entitlement
  • Pledging not to raise the rate of income tax or VAT

Company taxes

  • Pledging not to raise corporation tax
  • Keeping the VAT registration threshold under review and exploring options to smooth the cliff edge at £90,000

More powers for the Small Business Commissioner

Promoting digital invoicing and enforcement of the Prompt Payment Code with powers for the Small Business Commissioner to tackle unfavourable payment practices.

Childcare funding

For Child Benefit, moving to a household assessment from the current individual basis in an attempt to correct unfairness in the system.

Labour Party

Personal taxes

Labour has pledged not to increase National Insurance, the basic, higher, or additional rates of income tax, or VAT for "working people".

Company taxes

Capping the headline rate of corporation tax at the current 25%. There are no specific commitments on tapered rates currently available to companies with lower profits.

Single status of ‘Worker’ for all but the self-employed

The manifesto states that Labour would implement it’s ‘New Deal for Working People’ in full – including a single employment status of ‘Worker’ for “all but the genuinely self-employed”.

More reporting of payment practices

The audit committees of large businesses would be required to report on their company’s payment practices in annual reports.

In-work protections

Giving the self-employed the right to a written contract, as well as health and safety and blacklisting protections.

Green Party

Personal taxes

  • Committing to no increases to the basic rate of income tax during the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Removing the Upper Earnings Limit on National Insurance
  • Aligning tax rates for investment income with employment income
  • Equate the rate of pension tax relief with the basic rate of income tax

Wages and employment

  • Introducing a £15 minimum wage across all age groups
  • Increase the Employment Allowance to £10,000 to offset costs for small businesses


Reducing VAT in sectors such as hospitality and the arts whilst increasing it for financial services and private education.

Gig economy

Bringing 'platform workers' under a single legal status of 'worker' with full employment protections from day one.

Universal Basic Income

In the long term, pushing for the introduction of "a Universal Basic Income that will give everybody the security to start a business, study, train or just live their life in dignity."

Late payment

  • Campaigning to bring the Prompt Payment Code into law and barring late payers from public procurement.
  • Mandate the Small Business Comissioner to proactively investigate poor payment practices.

Company directors

Campaigning to amend the Companies Act 2006 so that company directors "must prioritise the well-being of all living entities (including all nations, all species and future generations, as well as all people alive today) and avoid negative environmental and social consequences."

Reform UK

Personal taxes

Lift the personal income tax allowance to £20,000.

Company taxes

  • Reduce the main rate of corporation tax to 20%, then 15% from year five.
  • Increase the corporation tax minimum profit threshold to £100,000.
  • Increase the VAT registration threshold to £120,000.

Abolish IR35

Scrapping the IR35 rules entitely within the first 100 days of government.

Our manifesto for the self-employed 

There are 4.3 million self-employed people in the UK. Their voice must be fairly heard at the 2024 general election. 

IPSE's manifesto for the self-employed calls on political parties to make the self-employed a policymaking priority, unlocking the full potential of this dynamic part of our economy.

Share the manifesto



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Meet the author

Fred Hicks

Senior Policy and Communications Adviser