Via The Guardian (UK) and thanks to a tweet from Michael Carty. Many ‘self-employed’ women get by on less than £10,000 a year. Excerpt:
Self-employed women earned 40% less than self-employed men in 2012, according to the figures published by HM Revenue & Customs. Its Personal Income Statistics 2011-12 report shows that, while average income for a self-employed man was £17,000, the equivalent for women was just £9,800.
The gap is widest in London, where women earned less than half the £25,700 average income of a self-employed man. Next came the east of England and the east Midlands. In almost every region apart from London, the south-east and Scotland, self-employed women earned less than £10,000 a year, the report reveals.
The revelations follow research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which showed that the gender pay gap in the UK widened for the first time in five years in 2012, from 9.5% to 10%. It found that women have made up more than half the 10% growth in self-employment since the recession began.
Some economists have speculated that many people who register as self-employed may have done so after failing to secure employment, because the rise in self-employed individuals, to almost 4.4 million, has coincided with a fall in employee numbers.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: “There may be perfectly good reasons for being self-employed, but it would be naive to think that all these workers are really budding entrepreneurs.”
She added: “These figures instead suggest that many employee roles are being replaced by self-employed positions. Bogus self-employment is bad news for workers because they miss out on vital rights at work – such as paid holidays and employer pension contributions – without having the advantage of being their own boss.”
This is not just a problem for the UK but of growing concern in Australia. Unlike the UK, the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not track self-employment on a monthly or even a quarterly basis at this time.