Over 80% of self-employed do not “want any rights at all”

Survey of 250 freelancers finds that 88% shun maternity or paternity rights, 82% want no sickness pay and 85% reject holiday rights and pay

More than 80% of self-employed workers in the UK do not want any employment rights at all, according to a survey conducted by ContractorCalculator.

The survey of 250 freelancers found that 88% do not want maternity or paternity rights, 82% don’t want sickness pay (25% are insured and 80% use savings instead), and 85% have no interest in holiday rights or pay.

75% would not take auto-enrolment, 80% do not want extra rights to help with grievances or disciplinary matters and a massive majority of 94% do not want their working hours to be restricted in any way – instead content to manage their own affairs.

The rights of self-employed workers is becoming an increasingly contentious political issue as the gig economy continues to grow. A tribunal is currently underway to determine whether Uber drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed and receive rights such as the minimum wage, sickness & holiday pay, a pension and other benefits.

However, Dave Chaplin, CEO and founder of ContractorCalculator, does not think the results of the survey are troubling or indicative of a culture of exploitation.

Chaplin commented: “It is clear from the results of our research that freelancers and contractors love the gig economy and do not want rights.

“Government needs to understand that media reports associated with self-employed couriers and drivers who are part of the gig economy do not paint the full picture of self-employment.

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“There are thousands upon thousands of the self-employed working on a business-to-business basis who are very happy with the way they work and the last thing they want is further legislative burdens.  They do not see themselves as vulnerable workers.”


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