Vulnerability implications of the increase in the self-employed

Recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) employment figures showed the rise in the number of self employed people in the last year was greater than the rise in the number of employed people (an annual rise of 195,000 to September, compared with 110,000 employed people). The proportion of all workers who are self-employed is now at 15.1 per cent. For most self-employed people, it can provide increased freedom, control and flexibility, and self-employment and small business ownership plays a crucial role in driving forward our economy.

However, while many of these businesses or individuals are able to flourish, for others it is less straightforward. The reality is that the growing number of self-employed people also means that there is a growing number of people who are potentially earning less, not paying enough into their pension and experiencing cash flow issues that could put them at risk of high levels of debt – the vulnerable self-employed. They are also missing out on employee benefits such as holiday and sick pay, life insurance and income protection. The financial vulnerability of this growing group of workers is an area of concern, and they are a group that the VRS feels particularly well positioned to help, given the flexibility of the register and the ability to add, and remove, yourself as necessary.

Should you, or someone you know be self-employed and facing debt or other financial concerns, the VRS can help you to find some support whilst you need it. As you are able to sign up as and when you require the register, with no impact on your credit rating and no cost to you to do so, it can be a useful source of protection in more challenging times, whilst allowing you to flourish when times are good.

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