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Industry bodies call for minister for self-employment

The number of self-employed people in Britain is growing rapidly and more needs to be done to reflect that both in government policy and in business, two industry bodies say.

One has gone as far as to call for a minister to represent the self-employed.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) are working to raise political and general awareness of the increase in self-employed people and temporary workers.

IPSE, which says there are now over 4.6m self-employed people working in Britain, has called for the appointment of a minister for self-employment.

IPSE policy development manager George Anatasi told Recruiter: “This large and growing sector must be recognised and represented in government. Creating a minister for self-employment will ensure that the needs of the self-employed are heard in policy making.”

He went on to say: “A minister for small business already exists to represent SMEs, but the self-employed have different needs that must be catered for. If a minister for SMEs exists, then the question is why not one for the self-employed?”

REC director of policy Tom Hadley did not go as far as to back the call for the new minister, but said a lot more had to be done to recognise this growing group of workers.

He told Recruiter it was not just up to government policy makers to better recognise the needs of those people but also other business sectors, the banking and financial sector, for example.

Temporary or self-employed workers find it hard to get a mortgage, for example, regardless of how much they are paid, he said.

He said there were signs at the recent political party conferences that attitudes were changing and “we are starting to see progress”.

According to the REC’s recent Flex Appeal report, 36% of people in Great Britain have worked as a contractor, freelancer or agency worker at some point in their career, and 41% are considering working that way in the future. - See more at:
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