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Self-employed workers drops as UK sheds almost 700,000 in two years, study finds


The number of self-employed workers fell across all age categories in the past two years apart from those in their 70s and 80s

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The number of self-employed workers has plunged by almost 700,000 in the past two years, research suggests today.

The self-employed workforce fell from a peak of nearly five million in 2019 to to 4.3 million this year, according to analysis by Rest Less, which offers advice to older people.

As well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, changes to legislation led to many contractors who previously classed themselves as self-employed switching to company payrolls, says the study.

The number of self-employed workers fell across all age categories in the past two years apart from those in their 70s and 80s, according to the report.







There are more self-employed workers in the 50-59 age group than in any other age group
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There are more self-employed workers in the 50-59 age group than in any other age group, the study says.

Rest Less founder Stuart Lewis said: “The self-employed workforce has gone through a tumultuous couple of years as they first faced the full force of the pandemic shutdown with business drying up overnight for many, as well as sweeping legislation changes in April, which brought an end to many previous self-employed contractors providing their services through personal services companies.

“Whilst the number of self-employed workers overall has shrunk by 14% in two years, self-employment remains an attractive option for many workers in their 50s, 60s and beyond, with workers over-50 making up nearly half of the entire self-employed population.”

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