Coronavirus Report

  • Research

The following report is a summary of research conducted by IPSE in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak and the impact it is having on the UK’s highly skilled freelance sector.

The coronavirus outbreak is not just a health crisis – it is an economic crisis too.

As the country has taken necessary measures to shut down everyday activity in order to protect public health and the NHS, there has been an immediate financial impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods.

One of the groups most affected by the lockdown and social distancing are the UK’s self-employed workforce. Comprising just over five million people, some 15 per cent of the working population, this group contributes a combined £305bn to the UK economy.1

Throughout March 2020, IPSE and other organisations that advocate for the self-employed have heard countless stories from those who have seen their future work and income being delayed, cancelled or disappearing altogether. This drop-off has occurred across all industries, from construction to the creative sectors.

The Resolution Foundation estimated that, even before taking account of a wider economic slowdown, there are 1.7 million self-employed workers “who are likely to face major income losses because they work in the sectors most affected by the current lockdown, or are [self-employed] parents affected by school closures”.2

To understand how the coronavirus is affecting them, and to inform how we can help provide answers and support, IPSE conducted a survey exploring:

  • freelancers’ attitudes towards the crisis
  • the impact it is having on them, their self-employed businesses and their income
  • their attitudes towards the government measures provided, before and after the Chancellor’s announcement on 26th March

Read the full report here


Meet the authors

Alasdair Hutchison

Policy Development Manager

Inna Yordanova

Senior Researcher

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