Document Abstract

Mind the gaps: Universal Credit and self-employment in the United Kingdom, IN Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Vol 27 No 2 Jun 2019, pp199-217

Analyses the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) in the UK on the self-employed. Highlights that self-employment has risen across the European Union in the last few years and now accounts for 15% of the workforce. Outlines long-term trends in labour-market changes and welfare reform in the UK. Suggests that there has been an increase in more precarious forms of self-employment since the 2008 financial crisis. Discusses how UC will affect self-employed people at the lower end of the income scale looking at: income security; access to social protection; and incentives for the take-up of self-employment. Considers that there are gaps and insufficiencies within the UC system for self-employed people, especially in relation to the lack of flexibility in the Minimum Income Floor (assumed level of earnings). Suggests that the income support system has been poorly designed and does not take into account conditions which are likely to affect self-employed people.


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Caraher, Kevin; Reuter, Enrico
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