IPSE responds to Resolution Foundation call for self-employed minimum wage


IPSE has responded to a new report published by the Resolution Foundation which calls for a minimum wage for self-employed people who do not set their own rate of pay.

Simon McVicker, IPSE director of policy, said:

“Someone who does a decent day's work should get paid a fair rate. We applaud any measures which can support low-paid self-employed people, but there are obstacles that need to be overcome first.

“A minimum wage for the self-employed could address extreme low pay for some people, but there is a larger question around a statutory definition for self-employment that still needs to be answered. The current grey area around employment status means some unscrupulous employers can get away with shirking the responsibilities they have to their staff, by wrongly calling them self-employed contractors. These are businesses which should be paying the minimum wage, holiday pay and employer's national insurance contributions.

“If you are a person put in this situation, bringing your ‘client’ to an employment tribunal is your only course of action. That’s prohibitively expensive, stressful and takes a long time to get a decision.

“Setting your own rate is an important indicator of self-employment, but this is an oversimplification of what it means to be in business for yourself. Having autonomy in your work, control over your working arrangements, taking on business risk and having independence from clients are all key to determining status.

"We believe the gig economy is a positive development for the labour market and is good for most of the people working in it. It allows people to choose when they work, and be their won boss. It is too easy to dismiss the entire gig economy as low quality work. It empowers people to fit work around their lives."

Meet the author

Simon McVicker

Director of Policy