Motion 62 A safety net for self-employed workers

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Composited motion

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Congress notes that the self-employed have been hit hard due to Covid-19. Congress notes that almost half of self-employed people have lost work during the crisis for economic reasons (such as lack of demand or restrictions on activity), or health and caring reasons (such as illness, shielding, self-isolation or childcare).

Congress further notes that self-employed workers are not entitled to statutory sick

pay, and that thousands were not eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, including the newly self-employed. Congress recognises many of those workers have struggled to make ends meet during the crisis.

Congress believes that the self-employed are a vital and growing part of our economy and should be treated equally in our social security system. Congress believes we need long-term solutions to address the inequalities faced by freelancers and the self-employed that the crisis has exposed.

Congress further believes that the union movement should campaign for better rights, protections and security within our labour market for the self-employed.

Therefore, Congress calls upon the General Council to lobby the government to:

i. ensure the self-employed receive equal support in our welfare system, including the extension of sick pay to the self-employed, increases to the living wage, shared parental leave and pay

ii. ensure that those receiving social security can receive small business loans to invest in their business without affecting social security entitlement

iii. set up a task force to look at the ways that the self-employed can be better supported through the tax and employment system.

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