Self-employment in the UK – in charts

The number of people reporting themselves as self-employed in the UK has increased by 40% over the last 13 years, according to a presentation published yesterday by the Department for Business.

Self-employment now makes up 15% of total UK employment. “Involuntary part-time” work has increased for both employees and self-employed since 2004. Self-employed people work more hours per week, but this gap has halved since 2006.

The Office of Tax Simplification has been looking at the boundary between employment and self-employment for tax and NIC purposes, and last October the business secretary set up an “employment review” to “help clarify and potentially strengthen the employment status of up to a million workers”.

Related: Is being self-employed becoming the new normal? (New Statesman, 7 January 2015). IPPR research “shows that a typical self-employed worker in the UK earns just over half the amount a typical employee earns”.