Pensioners wanting to boost their retirement income account for a large number of Britain’s growing army of self-employed workers, claims the Trades Union Congress.
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The TUC revealed that although only one in seven workers are self-employed, pensioners, part-timers and odd-jobbers have made up 44% of all new jobs created since the last election.
Out of that number, the research found that half are over 50 and 29% were over 65, making pensioners with some sort of job the fastest growing section of the work force.
The TUC also explained that more than 40% of self-employed jobs are part-time.
“Our concern is that many are taking on this type of work because they cannot find decent, paid work,” said the report.
The analysis shows that most self-employed work created since 2010 falls into three categories –
- Self-employment – with an extra 232,000 starting their own businesses
- Freelancing – up 69,000 in the past four years
- Sub-contracting – up 67,000 since 2010
“Although the number of self-employed people has increased, we can see the number of business partners or directors has slumped by 52,000 people,” says the report. “Our view is this means the number of entrepreneurs is dropping because people are not investing in new companies but shifting towards a more insecure method of employment.
The thrust of the TUC report is that although self-employment is rising, many people do not make enough money to work for themselves full time. Government figures suggest most earn an average £10,000 a year.
Rather than run a business, many people just do the same job but for themselves without the security of sickness benefits, holiday pay and other advantages of working for an employer, says the TUC.
Second job tax attack
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These self-employed workers are not entrepreneurs. Only a fraction run a business, while the most work for themselves or another employer – often with fewer rights, less pay and no job security.
“The lack of a stable income and poor job security associated with self-employment makes it difficult for people to pay their bills, arrange childcare, plan holidays or even buy or rent a home.”
According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) many employed workers who take on second jobs fail to declare the income.
In order to encourage them to pay the correct amount of tax, HMRC has launched the Second Income Campaign offering reduced tax penalties for sorting out wayward financial affairs.
The target is employees who take a second job or try to earn extra cash from a hobby.
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