The Deane Review of Self-employment

03 March 2016 By Professor Mark Freedland In May 2015, the researchers of the House of Commons Library identified the United Kingdom’s ‘self-employment boom’ as one of the key issues for the 2015 Parliament. They pointed to a growth of self-employment to a (then) ‘record high of 4.5 million in 2014’ (now apparently increased to 4.6 million), a growth which was ‘likely to reflect both temporary and permanent changes to the economy, together with government policy, particularly on tax and welfare’, and which meant that ‘currently around one in seven people in employment are self-employed in their main job’. They linked this to the growth of a ‘grey economy’ of tax evasion and pointed to ‘the implications of growing numbers of individuals with less predictable income and weaker job security’. (The same implications could also be drawn from the parallel and not unconnected phenomenon of the rise in zero-hours contracting for employment.)