IPSE expressed its satisfaction with the CRSE Report which claims that in pure numbers, on average self-employed employee’s exhibit higher levels of life satisfaction than their full-time counterparts. In a grand sense of irony, the report was released on National Freelancers Day that had already announced it was focusing on self-employed individuals’ well-being.
Subjective assessments of different aspects of life were evaluated which resulted in the conclusion that self-employed people have a higher rate of satisfaction. This also marks the first time that a holistic view of satisfaction and well-being was examined i.e. looking at jobs, health, family life and leisure – leading to a thorough and insightful projection of what constitutes life satisfaction rather than relying solely on economic stability.
The report further calls on policymakers to take these factors into due consideration and to enact policies that address the diversity related to self-employment. Additionally, the report found that there’s a varying degree of life satisfaction among different self-employed groups. It also forwarded a number of recommendations intended to improve the well-being and life satisfaction of specific self-employed groups.
Some of these recommendations were:
Abolish the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) or improve it’s extremely low uptake: Either offer accompanying training and mentoring, specifically confidence building measures for individuals that are self-employed due to a death of better opportunities.
Create a more appreciative culture where business failures are seen as part of entrepreneurial life: The stigma related to entrepreneurial failure must be eradicated. The best way to do that is to reform the bankruptcy regulation in order to create more room for good faith business failures.
Ensure better and faster access to mentoring: Specifically during periods when people are starting out or during a business crisis in order to curtail the amount of stress and elevate confidence at crucial moments. Job centers must be equipped to deal with mentoring requirements.
Improve access to skill-development resources: The treasury must elevate its efforts to make skills development more cost-effective by making tax allowances more accessible and granting-self-employed people access to training vouchers.
Improve long-term financial stability of self-employed: The DWP and pension providers need to inculcate financial products and information that may make saving for retirement easier for self-employed individuals. The “default” and “sidecar” model needs to be introduced that would create an accessible savings account.
Create more co-working spaces: Efforts need to be increased in order to end the sense of isolation among self-employed individuals. It should also guarantee insurance, childcare and other business-related services. The government, co-operatives and other organizations need to work together to create more incentives.
Solutions to stress caused by irregular cash flow: Banking industry needs to introduce self-employed friendly banking services as well as other services that make funding and emergency credit initiatives easier to access.
Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of IPSE, commented: “This timely report shows why we at IPSE are working day-in, day-out to support self-employment and open it up to more people. Being your own boss, picking your own projects and choosing how and when you work can clearly improve wellbeing for millions of people across the UK.
“As this report shows though, it’s not a completely even picture. There are still some areas of self-employment where policymakers and business leaders need to do more to improve wellbeing. That’s what this year’s National Freelancers Day is all about, and we hope policymakers will take note of both the day and the recommendations in this excellent report to start making self-employment work for everyone.”
Martin Binder, Professor of Economics at Bard College Berlin and the report’s author, commented: “Looking only at income or job creation when it comes to the self-employed experience is too narrow and can be misleading. Putting the overall life satisfaction of the self-employed centre stage gives us a much more comprehensive picture of how they are doing – beyond just their income. What, after all, is the point in encouraging more self-employment if people just end up more anxious, stressed-out and miserable?”