Entrepreneur Julie Deane was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron last year to conduct the review. Her report, published on Sunday (14 February), outlines a number of recommendations for the government to consider, in order for the self-employed to reach their potential.
More information and less red tape
Deane’s recommendations include that:
- government should consider reviewing how well information on its official website signposts the self-employed to access the advice and support already available
- more flexible financial solutions (including mortgages) for the self-employed should be offered, and trade organisations should play a key role in signposting these
- the location and availability of shared work spaces should be better communicated, and consideration should be given to incorporating such spaces in local libraries and community centres.
The report says that red tape around tax is a problem for small businesses, and Deane urged the government to consider how the issue can be tackled.
Allowances equal to the employed
In addition, she called for maternity allowance for the self-employed to match statutory maternity pay, and an adoption to help put them on equal footing when adopting.
Deane said: “With record numbers representing 15 per cent of the workforce and growing, the self-employed is a diverse and important sector. Having long been part of this group I wanted my recommendations to be both practical and impactful. I believe I have accomplished that.”
Commenting on the publication of the review, Dr Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Julie Deane is right: it’s time to sweep away the barriers that stop people from working for themselves.
“Her calls for the education system to focus more on the basics of enterprise, and for the self-employed to receive parental leave pay on the same basis as company workers, resonate with what we hear in business communities across the country.
“Slashing red tape and the burdens of tax administration would help not just the self-employed, but also vast numbers of small- and medium-sized businesses all across the UK.”