Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition Jeremy Corbyn has called for better support for the self-employed workforce and greater access to sick pay and maternity or paternity pay after outlining his manifesto at the Labour Party Conference in mid week.
Corbyn said he wants “kinder politics” for small business, contractors, freelancers and other self-employed individuals across the country that currently struggle to get the same entitlements such as mortgages compared to their fully employed counterparts.
The new Labour Party leader claimed the current government is clobbering” the self-employed with tax cut credits and said that the welfare state safety net was not in place for these workers even though some earn less than the average employee.
Statutory sick currently equates to £88.45 per week and is paid by an employer for 28 weeks while statutory maternity pay is 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings prior to tax.
IPSE Director of Policy Simon McVicker said it was important that the flexible workforce was not collectively casts as vulnerable and claimed that most of the 4.5 million self-employed in the UK “love what they do” and accept the trade off of some entitlements due to its flexibility.
He added: “We welcome the attention Mr Corbyn has placed on the self-employed and invite him to talk to us about the specific needs of people who work for themselves.
“The self-employed want a clear tax system, to be paid on time and to have fair business contracts. Additional support needs to maintain the self-employed’s inherent flexibility, as this is where they can make the greatest contribution to the UK’s economy.”