IPSE warns of “alarming and avoidable” drop in self-employment as numbers continue to fall

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to new ONS statistics showing a 154,000 drop in the number of self-employed, warning it is an “alarming and avoidable” fall.

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Last month’s ONS statistics revealed that the number of self-employed had fallen by a record 238,000 in the three months to August. With numbers continuing to fall this month, IPSE has warned the drop is likely because of gaps in self-employed support during coronavirus.

It has called on the government to prepare a “fair, flexible and focused” extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for the second wave.

Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “The labour market statistics this month reveal an alarming and avoidable drop in self-employment.

“In a recession, we would usually expect self-employment to be flourishing as companies seek out flexible expertise. Instead, we are now seeing a drastic and continuing decline in the sector. This is almost certainly because of the glaring gaps in government support: next to nothing was done for limited company directors and the newly self-employed and now we are seeing the consequences.

“The self-employed are vital for economic recovery, but huge swathes of the sector have been undermined and left behind. As a second wave of coronavirus approaches, government must do more. We urge the government to prepare a fair, flexible and focused extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – for the sake not only of the self-employed themselves, but also the economy.”

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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.