Let's back women who choose to become their own boss


IPSE welcomes today’s (Monday 23 January) report from the Women and Work All Parliamentary Group (APPG), Women Returners Annual Report 2016.

Support needed for self-employed mums

ONS statistics show that there are 1.5 million self-employed women in the UK, up by a third since 2011.

The self-employed are only entitled to Maternity Allowance, not Statutory Maternity Pay. IPSE welcome the report’s call on Government to bring these in line if they want to support hard-working self-employed women and mothers.

Government has committed to supporting working families by introducing tax-free childcare (TFC), but they must target funding where it is most needed. Current plans will roll out the scheme to families with the youngest children, including those who already have access to childcare vouchers, first.

Given the recent and continued increase in self-employed women, IPSE and the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) welcome the report’s calls for TFC to be opened to self-employed parents first.

Schools need to teach self-employment

IPSE research found one per cent of freelancers received information about self-employment in school or college and only two per cent did so at university. The report is right to urge that schools ensure information about self-employment and entrepreneurship is on the curriculum at secondary and sixth form level. This support should go further with Government supporting business-led self-employment mentoring scheme in schools.

With more and more young women becoming self-employed, proper education to prepare them for the world of work is vital.

Commenting on the report, IPSE Director of Policy, Simon McVicker said:More and more women are choosing to work for themselves. Self-employment offers women the opportunity have a better, more flexible work-life balance, which is particularly beneficial should they choose to have children.

The self-employed are only entitled to Maternity Allowance rather than Statutory Maternity Pay. It is vital the Government brings these in line if they want to make Britain a country that works for everyone.”

Jacquie Mills, Chair of the CVPA, commented: The CVPA welcomes the extension of childcare support to self-employed parents. It’s something we’ve long called for, and the massive growth in the numbers of self-employed parents makes it more important than ever.

“We want the government to roll Tax-Free Childcare out to self-employed parents first, so they can benefit from this support as quickly as possible.

“We’re also calling on families to check their entitlements under Tax-Free Childcare now, so they can plan their family finances. Unfortunately the majority of families will receive nothing like the £2,000 the government talks about. We hope the Government will keep Tax-Free Childcare under review to ensure it’s actually delivering for families.

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