Belfast Telegraph

'Privileged' sectors 'fuelling rise in self-employment'

Workers in higher paying jobs are fuelling the rise in self-employment rather than those in the so-called gig economy, a new report shows.

Around 60% of the growth since 2009 has been in "privileged" sectors such as banking and advertising, said the Resolution Foundation.

Self-employment in the sector that includes taxis, covering firms such as Uber, is only up by 7%, research found.

The increase in high-paying sectors is largely due to tax advantages associated with self-employment, said the think tank.

Adam Corlett, of the Resolution Foundation, said: "Rising self-employment has been the biggest jobs story of the last decade, accounting for almost half of all employment growth since the financial crisis.

"This growth has been controversial at times, with several companies finding themselves in court as workers try to address the insecurity that often comes with self-employment.

"But behind the headlines the real recent growth area for the self-employed has been in lucrative sectors such as advertising and banking.

"This rise is driven in part by a very favourable tax treatment worth thousands of pounds a year to higher earners, just one element of which is set to cost the Treasury £6 billion a year by the end of the parliament.

"With the number of self-employed workers approaching five million, we need to start addressing some of the challenges it brings.

"This should include more security for workers at the bottom end of the market, but reforms should also reduce the unfair tax advantages that the wealthy self-employed particularly benefit from."